For everyone - Introduction of Plan B from December 10, 2021
This week, the Prime Minister gave a statement on COVID-19 and the Omicron variant. He announced a move to Plan B measures in England as outlined in the Covid-19 Autumn/Winter Plan from September.
This means that:
- From Friday 10 December, face coverings will be mandatory again in most indoor settings , including shops. There will be exemptions where it is not practical, such as when eating, drinking, exercising or singing.
- From Monday 13 December, those who can work from home should do so, allowing us to slow transmission by reducing our contact with others. Anyone who cannot work from home should continue to go into work, and consider regular testing to manage their own risk and the risks to others.
- From Wednesday 15 December NHS Covid Pass certification will be mandatory in nightclubs and venues where large crowds gather (4k+ outdoor unseated; 500+ indoor unseated, any venue 10k+). An NHS Covid Pass or negative lateral flow test will be sufficient.
- Daily Contact Testing will be introduced as soon as possible, to keep people safe while minimising disruption to daily life. More information is available on this here: Guidance for contacts of people with confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection who do not live with the person - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Vaccines still provide the best protection against the virus, and all over 40s are now eligible for booster vaccines.
These measures are in addition to:
- A renewed push on testing. This includes testing before you meet others, socialise or go to crowded or enclosed places.
- A renewed push on vaccines and boosters - being fully vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself against catching COVID.
- Continued messaging on ventilation - let in fresh air when meeting indoors.
For businesses - Covid-19 Status Checks
COVID-19 rules on entering certain venues and events have changed following a vote in Parliament.
Organisations must now take reasonable steps to make sure that all visitors aged 18 or over show an NHS Covid Pass, an approved proof of vaccination, evidence of a recent negative test or an exemption to enter the venue or event.
Which venues and events must carry out Covid-19 status checks?
The venues and events where the NHS COVID Pass, or alternative proofs of COVID-19 status, must be used as a condition of entry are:
- Nightclubs, dance halls and discotheques
-Other late night dance venues, where all of the following apply:
- the venue is open any time between 1am and 5am
- it serves alcohol after 1am
- it has a dancefloor (or space for dancing)
- it provides music, whether live or recorded, for dancing
- Indoor events with 500 or more attendees, where those attendees are likely to stand or move around for all or part of the event, such as music venues with standing audiences or large receptions
- Outdoor events with 4,000 or more attendees, where those attendees are likely to stand or move around for all or part of the event, such as outdoor festivals
- Events with 10,000 or more attendees, whether indoor or outdoor, such as large sports and music events
For other venues (such as indoor or outdoor sport stadiums, conference centres, exhibition halls, live music venues, theatres and concert halls), COVID-19 status checks are only required where they are hosting an event which meets the relevant attendee threshold.
For more information on exemptions and thresholds please visit the GOV UK website to see the full list of exempt activities.
What do attendees need to show?
- Proof of vaccination with two doses of an approved vaccine (or one of the single-dose Janssen vaccine)
- Proof of a negative PCR or rapid lateral flow test within the last 48 hours
- Exemption on the basis of a medical exemption or clinical trial participation.
- Evidence of natural immunity will not be accepted as an alternative to proof of vaccination or testing.
What counts as accepted proof?
- An NHS COVID Pass
- An approved international equivalent for those vaccinated in other countries.
- A valid text or email confirmation of a recent test result from NHS Test and Trace.
Please visit the Government’s website for all guidance on carrying out Covid-19 status checks: Carrying out mandatory COVID-19 status checks at your venue or event - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)