Everything Boris Johnson announced at ‘Plan B’ Downing Street press briefing

Plan B measures would be introduced to slow the spread of Omicron covid variant in the UK, Boris Johnson announced in a press conference. Here’s a full breakdown of what that means

Prime Minister Boris Johnson at Downing Street press conference
Boris Johnson announced Covid Plan B restrictions to curb the spread of Omicron

Boris Johnson has said that new Plan B restrictions would be brought in to try and curb the spread of the Omicron variant in the UK.

The prime minister told a Downing Street press conference on Wednesday, December 8, that these new measures were necessary to slow the spread of the Omicron variant of coronavirus, which he said was “growing much faster than the previous Delta variant.”

He also said that the transmission rates of the new variant could lead to “a big rise in hospitalisations, and therefore sadly in deaths”, adding that the move to Plan B is the “proportionate and responsible” thing to do.

Here are five of the key measures that will be introduced as part of plan B

Working from home guidance introduced

The hope is that working from home will reduce contact in the workplace and slow spread of Omicron


Getty Images/Maskot)

Under Plan B, the government will be reintroducing work from home guidance, which will come into effect from Monday, December 13, 2021.

Mr Johnson said: “Employers should use the rest of this week to discuss working arrangements with their employees,” adding that people should “go to work if you must but work from home if you can.”

He also said that it’s hoped that working from home will reduce contact in the workplace thus slowing transmission.

Face masks mandatory in more public places

From Friday, December 10, onwards, people are legally required to wear face masks at most public indoor venues like theatres, cinemas and places of worship.

However, he said that there will be exemptions in circumstances where face masks aren’t practical including when eating, drinking, exercising or singing.

Covid passes needed for venues with large crowds

NHS Covid Pass will become mandatory at most public venues under the new restrictions



The NHS Covid Pass will be mandatory for entry into nightclubs and other venues where large crowds gather, under plan B measures.

This includes 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 restrictions will come into force within one week, giving businesses time to prepare for it.

The Covid pass can be obtained by people who have had two doses of the vaccine, but this will be under review as the rollout of boosters continue.

Boris Johnson also added that a negative lateral flow test will also give people access to the pass.

Booster jabs three months after second dose

Booster jabs are being now offered to all adults in the UK, who had their second dose at least three months ago. The gap between second and third jabs was reduced from six month to “a minimum of just three months” in November, 2021.

The prime minister told the press conference: “Our heroic NHS staff and volunteers have already done almost 21 million boosters, including reaching 84 per cent of all the eligible over 80s.”

Testing daily for Omicron contacts

Finally, Johnson also said that instead of isolation, the government will be introducing daily tests for contacts of Omicron cases. This move he added is to “keep people safe while minimising the disruption to daily life.”

Four other things that needed to be monitored, according to the prime minister, are the efficacy or vaccines and boosters, the severity of Omicron, the speed of its spread and the rate of hospitalisations.

He said: “As soon as it becomes clear that the boosters are capable of holding this Omicron variant and we have boosted enough people to do that job of keeping Omicron in equilibrium, then we will be able to move forward as before.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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