Government Announcement on New Covid Rules For England – Including Working From Home If Possible And Wearing Masks In More Public Places

Government Announcement on New Covid Rules For England – Including Working From Home If Possible And Wearing Masks In More Public Places

Further to earlier LTBs, this is a summary update for Branches and Health and Safety Reps following the Government’s announcement yesterday regarding the so called ‘Plan B’ implementing further Covid restrictions for England.  Other parts of the UK have also tightened up their Covid regulations.

What are the new measures for England?

From Friday 10 December, face coverings are mandatory for most indoor public venues including places of worship, theatres and cinemas – as well as on public transport and in places like shops and hairdressers.

Masks won’t be needed in pubs or restaurants, nor in venues like gyms where it’s “not practical to wear them”.

From Monday 13 December, people should work from home“if they can”.

From Wednesday 15 December(subject to parliamentary approval), people will need an NHS Covid Pass – showing their vaccination status or a recent negative lateral flow test – to gain entry to:

  • Nightclubs
  • Indoor unseated venues with more than 500 people
  • Unseated outdoor venues with more than 4,000 people
  • Any venue with more than 10,000 people

The government also wants people to do a lateral flow test (LFT) before entering “a high-risk setting” – such as a crowded place – “involving people you wouldn’t normally come into contact with, or when visiting a vulnerable person”.

People who’ve come into contact with Omicron cases currently have to go into self-isolation for 10 days. Ministers intend to change the rules so they can do daily Covid tests, instead.

What Covid rules were already in place in England?

The rules include:

What’s happening with boosters?

Every eligible person in England, Scotland and Wales should be able to book their booster by the end of January – although some may get it at a later date.

How do I get my booster?

Why are the new changes being made?

A new Covid variant – Omicron – has been identified, and there are fears it could be more infectious and less responsive to vaccines.

What are the Covid rules in Wales?

Restrictions include:

  • NHS Covid Pass needed for entry to nightclubs, cinemas, theatres and concert halls and many other indoor and outdoor events
  • Work from home wherever possible
  • Face coverings compulsory in schools, on public transport, and in shops and hospitals

What are the rules in Wales?

What are the Covid rules in Northern Ireland?

Restrictions include:

  • A limit of 30 people from different households mixing in homes
  • Face coverings compulsory in shops, indoor seated venues and visitor attractions, public transport and some other settings
  • Post-primary pupils must wear a face covering inside school buildings, as well as on school transport. Staff are encouraged to wear masks in school areas where they can’t socially distance
  • Vaccine passports for venues including nightclubs, bars and cinemas
  • Work from home wherever possible

What are the rules in Northern Ireland? 

What are the Covid rules in Scotland?

Restrictions include:

  • 2m (6ft) physical distancing rules remain in healthcare settings such as hospitals, GP surgeries and dentists
  • Face coverings still compulsory on public transport and inside places like shops
  • All school staff and secondary pupils to wear face coverings indoors
  • Indoor hospitality venues must collect customer contact details
  • Work from home where possible until at least the middle of January
  • All over-18s required to prove their vaccine status at nightclubs and other venues
  • First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has urged people to take LFTs before mixing with other households

What are the rules in Scotland?

The implications of the announcement will, as with previous Covid restrictions announcements, be discussed with the employers.

Yours sincerely

Dave Joyce
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer

LTB 540/21 – Government Announcement on New Covid Rules For England – Including Working From Home And Wearing Masks

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