Before we look at Plan B let’s start by looking at Plan A, the Government’s current plans to help control transmission. These include:
Building a wall of defence through pharmaceutical interventions: vaccines and antivirals.
Retaining Test, Trace, and Isolate measures.
Advising people on how to protect themselves and others through guidance and communications.
Helping the global vaccination programme and managing risks at the border.
Monitoring for Variants of Concern.
Plan B forms part of the Government’s COVID-19 Response: Autumn and Winter Plan 2021. Plan B provides a range of further interventions to help control coronavirus transmission while seeking to minimise economic and social impacts.
The Government says they will only implement Plan B if the data shows the numbers of people hospitalised with COVID-19 indicates the NHS will likely come under unsustainable pressure.
Plan B includes:
Communicating clearly and urgently to the public that the level of risk has increased and with it the need to behave more cautiously.
Making full COVID-19 vaccination a condition of entry for specific settings where large crowds gather.
Legally mandating face coverings in specific settings, e.g., crowded, and enclosed spaces where people are in contact with people they don’t usually meet.
Asking people to work from home if they can.
The Government will define the settings referred to in point 3 when Plan B is initiated, and this will likely be settings such as public transport.
Plan B gives a list of settings where it will become mandatory to have full COVID-19 vaccination in order to gain entry. These are:
Indoor, crowded settings with 500 or more attendees where they are likely to be near people from other households, such as music venues or large receptions.
Outdoor, crowded settings with 4,000 or more attendees they are likely to be close to people from other households, such as outdoor festivals.
Any settings with 10,000 or more attendees, such as large sports and music stadia.
One of the key requirements of Plan B will be the requirement for those who can work from home to do so.
The Government recognises the range of impacts home working can have on businesses and individuals. Potential problems can include how effectively businesses can onboard new joiners, provide training to staff, and engage with clients.
Other problems include those individuals who have inadequate home working conditions, who suffer mental health impacts due to lack of social engagement, or who experience domestic abuse.
Therefore, Plan B suggests that a final decision on home working guidance will be based on data available at the time and could be one of the last measures imposed.
If you need any advise on COVID-19 support or home working guidance, we arehere to help!