Mandatory face masks and vaccine passports ‘possibility’ for the future

17 September, 2021

The Government announced its “autumn and winter plan” for managing Covid with a contingency plan should the NHS start to become overwhelmed with patients.

Plan A has five pillars in order to prevent any further restrictions from needing to be implemented.

  • An enhanced vaccination programme
  • Testing and isolation
  • Supporting the NHS and social care
  • Advising people on how to protect themselves and others
  • Managing risks at borders

The 32-page document includes details encouraging businesses to ask employees to stay at home if they are feeling unwell. In addition, it stated that there should be an adequate supply of fresh air to indoor spaces and businesses should identify any poorly ventilated spaces and aim to provide fresh air flow in these areas. Hand sanitiser should also be provided for staff and customers.

It also advised operators to display an NHS QR code poster for customers to check-in and encourages businesses to consider using the NHS Covid Pass. However, this is guidance and not a legal requirement.

The Government went on to set out details of Plan B so public and businesses know what to expect if further measures become necessary.

This included introducing mandatory vaccine-only Covid-status certificates and legally mandating face coverings in certain settings.

Vaccine passports would also be used in Plan B and would be preferable to closing venues or reimposing social distancing measures.

The Government warned that these measures could be implemented at short notice, so more details about this plan are expected to allow the public and businesses to prepare for the possible measures.

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