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10th December 2021

Plan B COVID Measures for England

New restrictions are being introduced to deal with Omicron

The Government has announced a move to Plan B in England following the rapid spread of the Omicron variant in the UK. Here is a summary of the changes and how the restrictions may affect you.

COVD-19 Vaccination

  • Get vaccinated – it is now more vital than ever that those who are unvaccinated come forward, and those eligible for their boosters should book an appointment when called
  • The National Booking Service is now open to all those aged over 40 to book their jabs, and those under 40 who are eligible. The dose interval has also been shortened from 6 months to 3 months, with those eligible now able to book 1 month in advance – 2 months after their second dose

Get Tested and Self-Isolate if Required

  • There will be the introduction of daily contact tests for contacts of confirmed, positive cases instead of the 10-day self-isolation period. Until then, current rules continue to apply and you must self-isolate if instructed to do so by NHS Test and Trace
  • Those who have come into contact with an individual who may have been infected with the Omicron variant will need to self-isolate. This will apply even if you are fully vaccinated or aged 18 or under. NHS Test and Trace will contact you if this is the case
  • Everyone should test using a lateral flow device, particularly before entering a high-risk setting involving people you wouldn’t normally come into contact with, or when visiting a vulnerable person

Wear a Face Covering

  • From Friday 10 December 2021, face coverings will become compulsory in most public indoor venues, such as cinemas, theatres and places of worship. There will be exemptions in venues where it is not practical to wear one, such as when you are eating, drinking or exercising. For that reason, face masks will not be required in hospitality settings
  • Face coverings: when to wear one, exemptions, and how to make your own

Work From Home If You Can

  • From Monday 13 December 2021, those who can will be advised to work from home.

NHS COVID Pass

  • From Wednesday 15 December 2021, those aged 18 years or over must show their NHS COVID Pass, or an alternative proof of a negative test result, such as an email or text proof, to gain entry into certain venues where large crowds gather including:
    • Unseated indoor events with 500 or more people
    • Unseated outdoor events with 4,000 or more people
    • Any event with 10,000 or more people
  • People will be able to demonstrate proof of two vaccine doses via the NHS app, NHS.UK or a letter from NHS.UK, or by calling 119

A full list of guidance on these changes is available on the GOV.UK website.

Over the coming weeks and months it is vital that you remain vigilant and follow the guidance to reduce transmission and slow the spread of the Omicron variant. It is also important to follow the advice in the Government’s COVID-19 Response: Autumn and Winter Plan 2021.

Useful links

Plan B -  https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

UKHSA -  https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/uk-health-security-agency

Department of Health and Social Care - https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-of-health-and-social-care

Coronavirus how to stay safe and stop the spread -  https://www.gov.uk/guidance/covid-19-coronavirus-restrictions-what-you-can-and-cannot-do

NHS Test and Trace What to do if you are contacted - https://www.gov.uk/guidance/nhs-test-and-trace-how-it-works

*All information is correct at the time of publishing. Use of this material is subject to your acceptance of our terms and conditions.

Alison Lowerson

GP Specialist

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