Boris Johnson announces Plan B restrictions to tackle Omicron

Work-from-home guidance will return, vaccine passports will become mandatory in large venues and mask rules will be extended to combat the Omicron variant as Boris Johnson announced a move to his Plan B to tackle coronavirus.

Wednesday, 8th December 2021, 6:42 pm

The Prime Minister warned it is clear the new strain is “growing much faster” than Delta and cases of Omicron could be doubling every two or three days as he strengthened England’s rules to slow the spread of Covid-19.

Mr Johnson said that guidance to work from home where possible will return from Monday, and mandatory mask wearing will be extended to public places like cinemas and theatres from Friday.

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaking at a press conference in London's Downing Street after ministers met to consider imposing new restrictions in response to rising cases and the spread of the Omicron variant.

In the Commons, Health Secretary Sajid Javid said there are 568 cases of Omicron confirmed but that the true figure is estimated to be “probably closer to 10,000”.

Boris Johnson again dismissed the prospect of mandatory vaccinations.

He said: “I said right at the beginning of this pandemic… I didn’t want us to have a society and a culture where we forced people to get vaccinated.

“I don’t think that’s ever been the way we do things in this country.”

But he admitted there would need to be “a national conversation” about how to protect the public, particularly those who choose not get vaccinated for any reason.

The Prime Minister also dismissed making changes to the rules that currently require people travelling from red list countries to quarantine in hotels.

He said the red list was something the Government was looking at, but added: “It’s been very important in the immediate response to Omicron to have very tough border measures to slow the arrival of the variant in this country.”

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