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The new ‘Plan B’ restrictions: what they mean for London

It’s back to WFH and Covid passports for group events

Chris Waywell
Alice Saville
Written by
Chris Waywell
Alice Saville

As the nation seethes at a leaked video showing 10 Downing Street staff joking about holding an illicit Christmas party during lockdown last year, there’s more bad news. Boris Johnson has announced the ‘Plan B’ restrictions today, in response to the new Covid variant Omicron.

What this means for England:

The ‘guidance’ is that people should work from home ‘if you can’ from Monday December 13. 

There will be a legal requirement to wear a mask to ‘most’ indoor venues, including theatres, cinemas and nightclubs, However, there are some exceptions, ‘where it is not practical’, such as when eating, drinking, exercising or ‘singing’. 

Facemasks will continue to be mandatory on TfL public transport in London.

You will need a Covid passport to attend unseated indoor events of more than 500 people and unseated outdoor events of more than 4,000 people. A recent negative lateral flow test will also be acceptable.  

There will be daily contact testing instead of isolation.

The prime minister also restated the importance of people getting Covid jabs, and announced that the minimum time between a second jab and a booster has been reduced to three months. 

Insiders have suggested that the timing of this announcement has been chosen to distract the angry public from the revelations around Johnson’s secret 2020 Christmas party, which was infuriating news for pretty much anyone who made sacrifices last Christmas to help keep their family and friends safe.

Will it work? Arguably, today’s announcement will compound rather than diminish any frustration people are feeling with the government’s handling of the Covid crisis. But it’s undeniable that with Omicron on the rise, action is necessary to slow its spread, however weary and frustrated Londoners and the rest of England feel about it.

There won’t be free TfL travel this New Year’s Eve.

Here are the countries currently on the ‘red list’ of banned travel destinations.

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