England to go into ‘Plan B’ due to Omicron variant, PM says

LONDON, England (CNN) – England is set to enter into COVID-19 restrictions including advice to work from home, face mask mandates, and the implementation of COVID passports for entrance to busy venues to tackle the Omicron variant.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the new restrictions in a press conference Wednesday, saying, “It’s now the proportionate and the responsible thing to move to plan B.” Omicron, he said, is clearly “spreading faster than Delta and that the 568 cases of the variant in the UK is almost certain an underestimate.”

Cases of Omicron in the UK, “mirror those in South Africa,” Johnson said adding that data points to the doubling time of the virus in the UK could be between two and three days.

From Monday, under Johnson’s Plan B, guidance to work from home will be reintroduced. The legal requirement to wear a mask will be extended to “most public indoor venues” except where “not practical,” such as in gyms and when eating and drinking. A ‘COVID pass’ proving vaccination or recent recovery will be made “mandatory for entry into nightclubs and venues where large crowds gather, including unseated indoor venues with more than 500 people, and seated outdoor venues with more than 4000 people and any venue with more than 10,000 people,” Johnson outlined.

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