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Everything You Need To Know About The New Covid Restrictions Changing Today

by : Hannah Smith on :
Everything You Need To Know About The New Covid Restrictions Changing Today
Everything You Need To Know About The New Covid Restrictions Changing Today (Alamy)

'Plan B' restrictions are set to be removed in England over the next week, with some of the first changes coming into force from today.

In an announcement made to the House of Commons yesterday, January 19, Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed that the measures introduced to combat the arrival of the omicron variant in December would be phased out in England, with Scotland and Wales also removing some of their own restrictions.

Beginning today, January 20, it will no longer be compulsory for students to wear face masks in schools, and guidance encouraging staff to work from home where possible will also end, with employers asked to begin working on plans to bring staff back into the office.

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Boris Johnson (Alamy)
Boris Johnson (Alamy)

The majority of other restrictions in England will be lifted next week on Thursday, January 27. These include an end to mandatory face masks on public transport and in indoor public spaces, though some places are expected to continue to recommend visitors wear a face covering.

In London, Mayor Sadiq Khan has already confirmed that masks will remain compulsory on TfL services, per the BBC.

Covid passes showing proof of vaccination or a recent negative test will also be phased out from large venues like football grounds and nightclubs, and restrictions on the number of visitors allowed in care homes will also end next week.

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Plan B restrictions set to lift (Alamy)
Plan B restrictions set to lift (Alamy)

In Scotland, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon confirmed that additional restrictions beyond 'Plan B' implemented over Christmas will be removed on January 24. That means nightclubs will re-open, while capacity limits for indoor and outdoor venues will be lifted.

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Curbs on the number of different households allowed to meet indoors will also end.

However Sturgeon confirmed that unlike in England, face coverings will remain compulsory in indoor spaces, while under Scottish law businesses have a duty to take measures to reduce the spread of Covid-19, and cannot force employers to return to the office.

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The country's Covid certification scheme will also remain in place, with venues including nightclubs required to check the status of at least 50% of visitors.

Similarly in Wales, face masks and work from home guidance will remain in place, as well as the use of Covid passes for large venues.

However First Minister Mark Drakeford confirmed that beginning tomorrow, January 21, capacity limits for outdoor events will be lifted, and on January 28 nightclubs will re-open and the rule of six for indoor gatherings will end.

If you’ve been affected by coronavirus and want up to date advice, visit the Gov.uk help page here. If you need medical help call NHS 111 or visit online 

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Hannah Smith

Hannah is a London-based journalist covering news and features for UNILAD. She's especially interested in social and political activism and culture.

Topics: News, Coronavirus, UK News, Boris Johnson