Under stricter rules people must show a Covid vaccine passport to enter some venues in England but if someone is unjabbed they can produce a negative lateral flow test instead
Boris Johnson has announced the implementation of ‘Plan B’ to deal with a rise in Covid-19 cases amid the spread of the Omicron variant.
Speaking at a Downing Street press conference, the Prime Minister said the doubling time of the new strain could be “between two and three days” – meaning its spread will be rapid.
Under the stricter rules people must show a Covid vaccine passport to enter some venues in England.
But if someone is unjabbed they can still enter as long as they produce a negative lateral flow test.
Covid passports will be made mandatory for nightclubs and large events, and rules on face masks would be “further extended” from Friday, to “most public indoor venues” including theatres and cinemas.
The Prime Minister said: “We will also make the NHS Covid pass mandatory for entry into nightclubs and venues where large crowds gather, including 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.
“The NHS Covid pass can still be obtained with two doses but we will keep this under review as the boosters roll out.
“And having taken clinical advice since the emergence of Omicron, a negative lateral flow test will also be sufficient.”
AFP via Getty Images)
“As we set out in Plan B, we will give businesses a week’s notice, so this will come into force in a week’s time, helping to keep these events and venues open at full capacity while giving everyone who attends them confidence that those around them have done the responsible thing to minimise risk to others.”
Mr Johnson made the announcement as the Health Secretary warned that the number of Omicron cases could hit one million by the end of December.
Sajid Javid issued the stark warning telling the Commons: “We’re confident that Omicron is significantly more transmissible than Delta.”
Daiano Cristini / Summary / SIPA / REX / Shutterstock)
“There is still a lot to learn, but some important data has emerged recently.”
He added: “It is far more transmissible than the Delta variant.”
Mr Javid said Delta cases had doubled in around seven days but for Omicron “based on the latest data from here and around the world, our latest analysis is that it’s been around, it’s between 2.5 and three days.
“This has made the virus an even more formidable foe.”
He continued: “Although there are only 568 confirmed Omicron cases in the UK we know that the actual number of infections will be significantly higher.
“The UK health security agency estimates that the number of infections are approximately 20 times higher than the number of confirmed cases, and so the current number of infections is probably closer to 10,000.
“UKHSA also estimate that at the current observed doubling rate of between two and a half and three days, by the end of this month, infections could exceed 1 million.”
Currently daily infections across the UK have been above 40,000 for the last two weeks and Omicron cases have today topped 560.