Covid: What Is Plan B Amid Omicron Spread And How Is The Government Planning To Avoid Another Lockdown?

The Government has announced Plan B restrictions in England will be lifted.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that the latest data showed infections levels are falling and scientists believe the Omicron wave has peaked nationally.

Because of this, the Cabinet has concluded can return to Plan A measures in England next Thursday, January 27.

Mr Johnson said that the public should remain cautious during these last weeks of winter, adding the Omicron variant is “not a mild disease for everyone, especially if you are not vaccinated”.

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So what does Plan A entail and what will the changes be from next Thursday?

What does the end of Plan B mean?

Mandatory face masks will end, including in classrooms for secondary students from January 20, and elsewhere, including on public transport from January 27 - meaning people will not be fined for choosing not to wear them.

Working from home guidance ends on January 19, meaning people can return to offices and workplaces.

The compulsory use of Covid passes at certain events will also end on January 27 even though venues can still use them if they wish.

Restrictions on care homes will be eased, with further detail to be released.

People who test positive for Covid will still have to self-isolate but there will “soon be a time” when this is not required, Mr Johnson told MPs. He added that the self-isolation regulations expire on March 24 and he does not expect to renew them.

What is the Government’s Plan A?

Under the original Covid-19 Response: Autumn and Winter Plan, the government was relying on a roll out of booster jabs for all over-18s.

Doses of the vaccine will also be offered to 12 to 15-year-olds and those who are unvaccinated.

Plan A also involved the continuation of NHS Test and Trace and free PCR tests and encouraging free flu jab take-up.

The government also reminded people to let in fresh air when meeting indoors and to wear face coverings in crowded places.

What was the Government’s Plan B for winter?

In December, the Government introduced its additional Plan B measures “to slow the spread of the variant” while buying additional time for people to get their boosters. Evidence suggests a third jab can help protect against Omicron.

Plan B also involved the following restrictions:

  • Face coverings were compulsory in most public indoor venues, such as cinemas, theatres and places of worship. Some exemptions apply, including in hospitality settings and gyms.
  • From Monday December 13, people who could were asked to work from home. Those who cannot do so can still go into their workplace.
  • Vaccine passports were introduced from Wednesday December 15 for entry into nightclubs and settings where large crowds gather. This includes unseated indoor events with 500 or more attendees, unseated outdoor events with 4,000 or more attendees and any event with 10,000 or more attendees.

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Source : https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/newslondon/covid-what-is-plan-a-and-when-will-the-plan-b-restrictions-in-england-end/ar-AAPHCzO

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