What is Plan B Covid in the UK and what are the latest restrictions?

AS OMICRON takes holds across the world, Britain could resort to its Plan B.

The Plan B which would see the return of face coverings, work from home orders and vaccine passports, will only be activated if Covid gets out of control this winter.

What is Plan B Covid in the UK?

The government has set out plans to tackle Covid over autumn and winter.

This contains the preferred Plan A, which will be followed if the number of infections remains manageable and the NHS is not overwhelmed, and Plan B, if the health service starts to struggle.

Plan A focuses on continuing with the vaccine roll-out.

This means offering it to healthy 12 to 15-year-olds, encouraging those who have not yet come forward to do so, and moving forward with the booster jab programme for those most at risk.

It will also encourage Brits to take up free flu jabs, as well as frequent testing, self-isolation when necessary and the NHS Covid Pass to check vaccination or test status.

Plan B on the other hand will mean the return of measures seen in the UK's various lockdowns.

This could include making face coverings and vaccine passports mandatory in certain locations, returning to working from home, and generally urging the public to behave more cautiously.

It has been claimed that some parts of England will see Plan B measures in the next few days as coronavirus infections continue to rise.

It comes as the Health Secretary, begged Brits to get their booster jab, backing The Sun’s Give Britain a Booster campaign, in a bid to battle the virus.

When could Plan B be introduced?

Boris Johnson spoke in a  Downing Street press conference on November 27, 2021 about a potential Plan B.

He says the key response to Omicron has to be to buy time – which can be done by tightening restrictions at the border.

The package of measures (re)introduced today are adequate to combat the Delta variant which is currently dominant, the PM says.

In response to a question about why he is not implementing further plan B measures such as telling people to work from home, Boris Johnson cited the differences between the Delta and Omicron variant and its approach to “slow the seeding” through the border measures being introduced, accelerating the booster programme and giving scientists more time to understand the variant.

Sky's Nick Martin asked Sir Patrick and Sir Chris if lockdowns can be ruled out from what they know about this new variant. 

Could there be another lockdown?

Sir Patrick said the UK does not have enough information to create modelling yet. 

He said so far we know that "there are pockets of rapidly growing outbreaks". 

"We will get more information on transmissibility. We will get more information on the vaccines' ability to protect against the virus. But that is going to take some time. 

"We can't really get much further than that," he added.

But if it's very transmissible and does cause big [vaccine] escape then, then clearly that is a major issue to face up to but that isn't what we know at the moment. We need to get that information."

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