He confirmed the move in a Downing Street news conference yesterday evening.
In response to and in a bid to curb the spread of the Omicron variant in England, the Prime Minister said in the news briefing yesterday – which he hosting alongside Professor Chris Whitty, and Sir Patrick Vallance – that it was now the “proportionate and responsible thing to move to Plan B”, adding that the reason for this being that it’s become “increasingly clear that Omicron is growing much faster than the previous Delta variant.”
Mr Johnson added: “We can’t yet assume that Omicron is less severe… and it could lead to a big to a big increase in hospitalisations and sadly deaths.”
The confirmation of the move to ‘Plan B’ comes after the Prime Minister has continued to deny that a Christmas party that broke COVID-19 restrictions took place at Downing Street last December, with many accusing the government of introducing
He said in the conference that he “understands how infuriating it must be” to hear of rules being broken by the people who set them in the first place.
‘Plan B’ was first referenced back in September when the government set out its plan for tackling coronavirus over the winter period, with a set of measures to prevent the NHS “coming under unsustainable pressure”.
But what exactly is Plan B? What are the new measures that are set to be introduced in England? And when do they take effect?
Here’s everything you need to know.
What is ‘Plan B? ‘?
As mentioned, the government outlined a set of measures as part of its Autumn and Winter COVID plan that would be brought in “if the data suggests the NHS is likely to come under unsustainable pressure”.
Those measures are:
Guidance to work from home “if you can”.
The reintroduction of a legal requirement to wear face masks in “most public indoor venues”, including theatres and cinemas – with exceptions “where it’s not practical, including while eating, drinking, exercising or singing”.
NHS COVID passes for nightclubs, unseated indoor venues with more than 500 people, unseated outdoor venues with more than 4,000 people, and any venue with more than 10,000 people.
Daily testing for people identified as a contact of a COVID-19 case – with isolation required only for people who test positive.
Plan B was drawn up before the Omicron variant emerged, and only applies to England.
The government had already announced that as of 30 November, the wearing of face coverings would become a legal requirement in shops, banks, post offices, hairdressers, and on public transport in England – but from Friday 10 December, they will be mandatory in “most public indoor venues.”
The reintroduction of the guidance to work from home “if you can” will take effect from Monday 13 December.
NHS Covid Passes will be introduced from Wednesday 15 November.
The measures will be debated in parliament next week, with a vote expected to take place on Tuesday 14 December.
How long will the measures be in place for?
The government says it will keep the data under “constant review”.
Just like it has been throughout the COVD-19 pandemic, there will be a review of the measures after three weeks, but these regulations are set to expire six weeks after implementation.
Taken together, the government says it is “hopeful” these measures will reduce transmission and slow the spread of the Omicron variant, and will continue to urge those eligible to get their boosters jabs when called.
Featured Image – Unsplash | NHS
Family of murdered Salah Adam Eldin, 21, pay tribute to ‘beautiful son and true hero’
The family of Salah Adam Eldin, a 21-year-old stabbed to death in Old Trafford last week, have paid a heartbreaking tribute to a ‘genuine and loving soul’.
Salah sadly died on Wednesday 31 May after he was found with serious injuries on Kings Road.
A murder investigation has been launched, and 19-year-old Demari Adrian Raymond Rose has been charged with murder and possession of a bladed article.
Salah’s family have described him as ‘the backbone of the family’ and described his respectful, kind and caring nature.
They wrote that support has poured in from across the globe, saying that ‘he was so much to so many people’.
In a tribute issued through GMP, his family said: “Salah was the backbone of the family and carried the family through anything and everything. He was our precious, beautiful son and a true hero.
“He was a supportive brother and precious son, a most genuine and loving soul with a big heart. He always found space in his heart to forgive all.
“He was always respectful and had kind words to say for all, everyone who met him wanted to be friends with him and was respected by all people of all ages.
“We are immensely proud of him. The continuous tributes from his friends, as far and wide as Africa, North America, The Middle East, Europe and from every corner of the world as well as here at home in England, his friends coming with heavy hearts and tears of deep sadness.
“Yes, our heart is filled with grief and pain, the reality that we will no longer hear his voice on the end of the phone. We grieve and wait for the day that we will one day all be reunited as a family together again and it will be forever.
“As a family we are able to support one another with the help of the wonderful friends and family that we have in the community and beyond. The support has been immeasurable, with everyone suffering the same pain and loss of Salah. He was so much to so many people. His short time in this world, he has his legacy of being a kind and caring young man and so loved. The amount of people who have reached out to support us, it is overwhelming and yet wonderful at the same time.
“As a mother, I have no words to describe the depth of my pain, grief and sorrow that I am going through, and I wish no mother must experience the layers of sadness and grief that I and Salah’s siblings and family are going through.
“Our lives have changed forever and we thank Greater Manchester Police for doing all they can to get justice and who have been very supportive, and we thank endless stream of friends and the community from the bottom of our hearts for their continuous love and support that they give us.”
Salah’s family have asked for continued privacy while they grieve for their loss.
Featured image: GMP
Coronation Street legend Julie Goodyear diagnosed with dementia
Coronation Street legend Julie Goodyear, who famously played the iconic character Bet Lynch for over 25 years, has sadly been diagnosed with dementia.
Issuing a statement via ITV, her husband Scott Brand confirmed that they had been given the “heartbreaking diagnosis” this week.
Goodyear, 81, played the legendary Rovers Return pub landlord for over two decades across two different spells on the show, starting in 1966 before leaving the show for good in 1995.
Brand told the outlet on Wednesday: “Unfortunately, Julie has been suffering forgetfulness for some time and we have been seeking medical advice and assistance, but we now know that there is no hope of a reversal in the situation – and that her condition will get progressively, and perhaps speedily, worse.”
He went on to say that he and Goodyear “have taken the decision to publicly announce the diagnosis as Julie still loves visiting friends and eating out”, noting that she inevitably gets recognised “and fans love to meet her – and she them – but she can get confused particularly if she is tired” and adding they “hope people will understand.”
The Manc soap star and household name is from Heywood in Rochdale and retired from acting in 2003 after making her final special appearance on the Coronation Street spin-off, After Hours.