Everything you can and can't do from today under new Plan B rules
Plan B restrictions have been triggered as of today - so what does that mean?
Evidence and data shows the new variant is more infectious than the Delta strain and there are concerns it may be more resistant to vaccines, hence the decision to introduce extra measures.
Some of these have come into force on Friday (December 10). So here is everything you can and can't do as of today under the Plan B rules.
First off, face coverings. The rules on where people have to wear masks have been extended from Friday to include most public venues, including theatres and cinemas.
This is in addition to supermarkets, public transport and some other places such as hairdressers, where people have been required to wear face masks since November 30.
As of yet, you don't have to wear face masks in pubs and restaurants, the gym or places where people sing, such as choir practice.
— Department of Health and Social Care (@DHSCgovuk) December 10, 2021
The government says: "Face coverings have low economic costs and can be effective in reducing transmission in public and community settings."
Working From Home
From next Monday (December 13), you will be asked to work from home if possible.
However, so far, this is only advice, meaning that you don't have to stay away from the office - you're just being advised to.
Of course, this only applies if you can perform your job from home.
— UK Prime Minister (@10DowningStreet) December 8, 2021
The prime minister said: "Go to work if you must but work from home if you can. By reducing your contacts in the workplace you will help slow transmission."
Large venues will be required to introduce vaccine passports as a condition for people to enter.
This will require people to show proof they have been vaccinated or provide a negative lateral flow test, with these rules being brought in from next Wednesday (December 15).
These rules will apply to indoor events of more than 500 people - including nightclubs - to outdoor events with more 4,000 people, and any event with more than 10,000.
The government says: "Mandating vaccine-only certification would be preferable to closing venues entirely or reimposing social distancing."
You can find more information on vaccine certification on the government website.
Whilst we're being advised to work from home from next week, Christmas parties are still on according to the government.
People are advised to take a lateral flow test before attending a Christmas bash - but there are no restrictions on the number of people that can attend or where the event can be held.
- Up to 60 people ‘infected with Omicron’ after work Christmas party
- Premier League clubs instructed to return to ’emergency’ Covid-19 measures
- Man burned down nightclub to stop them asking for Covid passports
Pubs and restaurants
Nothing has changed for pubs and restaurants, with no new restrictions for the hospitality industry. There are no capacity limits on venues and social distancing measures do not have to be reintroduced.
There are also no changes for travel either. Rules have been tightened in recent weeks with the emergence of Omicron, but Brits are still free to travel abroad for a festive break, although you will have to take a pre-departure test before returning to the UK.
And on your return if you do go abroad, you'll have to take a PCR test before or on Day 2 of your return to the UK, and quarantine until you get your result back. If it's positive then you'll have to complete a full 14 days of quarantine.