COVID Update: England Moves to Plan B

In response to the Omicron variant the Government has announced a number of changes to current covid safety regulations and guidance.

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In response to the Omicron variant the Government has announced a number of changes to current covid safety regulations and guidance.


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In response to the Omicron variant the Government has announced a number of changes to current covid safety regulations and guidance.

Full details of the new regulations and guidance were not available at the time of writing, but are expected to be published shortly.

In the meantime in summary: From Friday 10th December there will be a legal requirement for face coverings to be worn in most indoor settings. Alongside the usual exemptions e.g. for health, communication and emergency reasons, there will be some exemptions to this e.g. for hospitality settings and places where strenuous physical activity is carried out e.g. exercise, dancing etc.

Some examples include:

  • Restaurants, cafés and canteens
  • Bars and shisha bars
  • Gyms & exercise facilities
  • Photography studios
  • Nightclubs, dance halls and discotheques

Face coverings must also be worn by staff working in those areas where the public are required to wear face coverings and where staff come into direct contact with the public. In other settings employers can also ask staff, customers and visitors to wear a face covering and should support those who chose to do so.

From Monday 13th December office workers who can work from home should do so, full details of the requirement were not yet available.

From Wednesday 15th December an NHS Covid Pass will be required by anyone aged 18 or over who wants to enter any of the following venues:

  • Nightclubs, dancehalls, discotheques, other late night dance venues and any other venues that are open between 1am and 5am; serve alcohol during this time; have a dancefloor (or designated space for dancing); and provide music, whether live or recorded, for dancing
  • Indoor events with 500 or more unseated 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 unseated attendees, where those attendees are likely to stand or move around for all or part of the event, such as outdoor festivals
  • Any events with 10,000 or more attendees indoor or outdoor, such as large sports and music events

For further information on the latest requirements in England see https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/covid-pass/

If further health and safety advice is required, please contact our experts PIB Risk Management