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The government and NHS are getting worried about winter as Covid cases rise again and over 20 Omicron variant cases have been identified in the UK.
Members of the public could face another few months of frustrating restrictions as officials call for a Covid Plan B – and it doesn't look great for party-lovers and those looking to celebrate Christmas without restrictions .
Health Secretary Sajid Javid has put forward a Plan B to "prepare for all eventualities" at the Commons.
This new plan involves the return of some restrictions to protect the NHS. It could see tighter regulations for nights out and a return to working from home for some.
Despite claiming they were unlikely to move to Plan B, it seems Boris Johnson may be introducing the restrictions in the coming days.
So, read on to find out what the Plan B restrictions are and how you may be affected.
What is Plan B?
A range of restrictions will return under Plan B but the full details have not been decided yet.
So far, the government guidance states that face masks have become compulsory in the following public spaces:
shops and supermarkets (places which offer goods or services for retail sale or hire)
shopping centres (malls and indoor markets)
post offices, banks, building societies, high street solicitors and accountants, credit unions, short-term loan providers, savings clubs and money service businesses
estate and letting agents
premises providing personal care and beauty treatments (barbers, hair salons, tattoo and piercing studios, nail salons and massage centres)
premises providing veterinary services
retail travel agents
takeaways without space for consumption of food or drink on premises
public transport (aeroplanes, trains, trams, buses, coaches and ferries), taxis and private hire vehicles
any car or small van during a professionally delivered driving lesson, a practical driving test, or during one of the practical tests for giving driving instruction, and in all HGV lessons and tests
transport hubs (airports, rail and tram stations and terminals, maritime ports and terminals, bus and coach stations and terminals)
Drafts suggest that masks will be essential in pubs and nightclubs after 1am, with all venues encouraged to check the NHS vaccine passport.
The work from home mandate could also be reintroduced for people in England, and the government would also be given the option of making vaccine certificates essential.
Schools in England could see the reintroduction of bubbles as part of a separate framework to curb surges.
The government wanted to avoid restrictions this winter by getting as many people vaccinated as possible.
But with the Covid death rates jumping to their highest since early March and a weekly increase of 24%, there have been growing concerns that the current 'Plan A' might not be working.
More details will be announced by Boris Johnson throughout December and in the lead-up to Christmas.
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