On Wednesday 8th December, the government announced that England will move to Plan B in response to the risks of the Omicron variant.
Since the announcement, the primary guidance for the hospitality and leisure industry continues to be updated with full details still to be announced. The below information should be treated as an an indication as to what the body of the guidance will say once full updates have been released. Please always check the government website for the latest information.
There are also plans to scrap the 10-day self-isolation period with daily testing to be introduced instead of isolation for those who come into contact with infected people. Isolation will only be required for those people who test positive. The date for this new rule is yet to be announced.
From 10th December, face coverings will be required by law in most indoor public places and on public transport, including taxis.
Face masks will be required in the following settings:
Face mask exemptions: You do not have to wear a face covering in hospitality settings such as cafés, restaurants and pubs. This is because it is not practical to keep removing face coverings to eat or drink. You do not need to wear a face covering in nightclubs or certain other night-time venues, including dance halls and discotheques. This is because it is not recommended that you wear a face covering while exercising or during strenuous physical activity, including dancing.
Face masks will not be required in the following settings:
Required use of the NHS COVID Pass:
From 15th December, certain venues and events will be required by law to check that all visitors and staff aged 18 years or over are fully vaccinated (currently a full course of vaccination without the need for a booster, but this will be kept under review). Proof of a negative test (a lateral flow test result via email or text) in the last 48 hours will also be accepted, as will proof of an exemption.
The use of the NHS COVID Pass is required as a condition of entry into the following places:
There are some settings that will be exempt from requirements to use the NHS COVID Pass including communal worship, wedding ceremonies, funerals and other commemorative events, protests, and mass participation sporting events.
New self-isolation rules
On 28th November, the Government said all contacts of those with Omicron must isolate for 10 days. However, will been replaced by new rules announced on Wednesday 8th December.
Those who are in contact with people who have tested positive for Covid-19 will now be required to take daily tests. Only those who test positive will then be required to isolate. They should isolate until they take their first test.
The details of when this measure will come into effect have not been confirmed yet, although reports say this will happen before Christmas.
Please always check the government website for the latest information.