COVID Champions Update 2nd December 2021

Key messages:

Following last nights government announcement, the following guidelines are in place from Monday 15th December:

  • Move to Plan B confirmed as Omicron spreads across UK, with early analysis suggesting cases could be doubling at a rate of as little as 2.5 to 3 days.
  • Face masks to become compulsory in most public indoor venues, other than hospitality.
  • NHS Covid Pass to be mandatory in specific settings, using a negative test or full vaccination via the NHS Covid Pass.
  • Vaccines and testing remain our best lines of defence.
  • People asked to work from home if they can.

From Friday 10 December, face coverings will become compulsory in most public indoor venues, such as cinemas, theatres and places of worship. There will be exemptions in venues where it is not practical to wear one, such as when you are eating, drinking or exercising. For that reason, face masks will not be required in hospitality settings.

From Monday 13 December, those who can will be advised to work from home.

From Wednesday 15 December, and subject to parliamentary approval, the NHS Covid Pass on the NHS App will become mandatory for entry into nightclubs and settings where large crowds gather – including unseated indoor events with 500 or more attendees, unseated outdoor events with 4,000 or more attendees and any event with 10,000 or more attendees. People will be able to demonstrate proof of two vaccine doses via the app. Having considered the evidence since the emergence of Omicron, proof of a negative lateral flow test will also be accepted.

Latest COVID-19 Vaccination Guidance
In light of the threat posed by the new Variant of Concern, Omicron, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has recommended an acceleration to the vaccination programme. Following these recommendations, the NHS is working on plans to offer:

  • A booster dose to everyone aged 18 years old and over. Priority still to be given to older adults and those at risk.
  • A booster dose to people aged 16 years old and over with a severely weakened immune system.
  • Booster doses from 3 months after the previous dose.
  • A 2nd dose to all children aged 12 to 15 years old who are not already eligible.

(please wait to be contacted by NHS)

New UK travel guidance:

  • Before you travel to UK: Anyone fully-vaccinated aged 12 and above wishing to travel to the UK from countries and territories not on the red list, must also show proof of a negative PCR or lateral flow (LFD) test, taken no earlier than 48 hours before departure. The test can be taken either in the country where you start your journey, or in another country en-route to the UK. You must use a private test provider for the test and not an NHS test.
  • After arriving in the UK: All passengers must take a PCR test within 2 days of arriving and self-isolate while waiting for the test result, even if they’re fully vaccinated. The PCR test must be booked before travelling and bought privately from a government-approved list of providers. Everyone aged 5 and over (11 and over in Scotland) must take these tests.
  • UK residents and Irish nationals arriving from a red list country must isolate in a government-approved hotel for 10 days and take a PCR test on day 2 and day 8 of their stay.

If you’re a close contact of someone who may have been infected with the Omicron variant, you must self-isolate for 10 days, regardless of your age, vaccination status or any negative test results.

Further Information