England set to move to plan B
The prime minister has confirmed his intention to move England to 'plan B', following the spread of the omicron variant in the UK. From 15th December, and subject to parliamentary approval, the NHS Covid Pass on the NHS App will become mandatory for entry into nightclubs and settings where large crowds gather. This includes unseated indoor events with 500 or more attendees, unseated outdoor events with 4,000 or more attendees and any event with 10,000 or more attendees.
People will be asked to demonstrate proof of two vaccine doses via the app. Evidence of a negative lateral flow test will also be accepted.
From 10th December, face coverings will become compulsory in most public indoor venues. However, face masks will not be required in hospitality settings, as there are exemptions in venues where it is not practical to wear one, such as when guests are eating and drinking.
As of 13th December, those who can will be advised to work from home. The vote on the new measures is expected to take place on 14th December.
“While the government clearly acknowledges that hospitality is safe and can continue to host celebrations in the lead-up to Christmas, the measures announced today will significantly impact consumer confidence and be particularly devastating to city and town centre venues," said UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls. "As such, they risk devastating the hospitality sector amid its most important time of the year.
“We therefore desperately need support if we are to survive this latest set of restrictions and urge the government to stand behind our industry. That means full business rates relief, grants, rent protection and extended VAT reductions. Anything less would prove catastrophic.”