Plan B Guidance – how to stay safe and help prevent the spread

Yesterday, Wednesday 8 December, the Government announced that England would move to Plan B in response to the risks of the Omicron variant.

The changes are;

From Friday 10 December, face coverings will be required by law in most indoor public places and on public transport, including taxis. For a complete list, please click here 

There are some exemptions. You do not have to wear a face covering in hospitality settings such as cafés, restaurants and pubs. This is because it is not practical to keep removing face coverings to eat or drink.

Settings which are exempt from wearing a face covering include:

  • Restaurants, cafés and canteens
  • Bars and shisha bars
  • Gyms & exercise facilities
  • Photography studios
  • Nightclubs, dance halls and discotheques

In indoor settings where a face covering is not legally required, you should still continue to wear a face covering in crowded and enclosed spaces where you may come into contact with other people you do not normally meet.

If you are exempt from wearing a mask due to a medical condition, please carry on as you have been.

Office workers who can work from home should do so from Monday 13 December.

Anyone who cannot work from home should continue to go into work – for example, to access equipment necessary for their role or where their role must be completed in person. In-person working will be essential in some cases to continue the effective and accessible delivery of some public services and private industries.

If you need to continue to go into work, it is recommended that you take lateral flow tests regularly to manage your own risk and the risk to others, also if you are visiting a new location where you are unsure of any additional risks.

From Wednesday 15 December, certain venues and events will be required by law to check that all visitors aged 18 years or over are fully vaccinated (currently a full course of vaccination without the need for a booster, but this will be kept under review), or have proof of a negative test in the last 48 hours, or that they have an exemption. 

This means that those aged 18 years or over must show their NHS COVID Pass, or an alternative proof of a negative test result, such as an email or text proof, to gain entry into these venues.

You can access your NHS COVID Pass through:

  • the NHS App 
  • NHS.UK 
  • A letter that you can obtain on NHS.UK or by calling 119

The NHS COVID Pass lets you share your COVID vaccination status and test results in a secure way for entry to domestic venues or events.

The use of the NHS COVID Pass is required as a condition of entry into the following places:

  • nightclubs, dancehalls and discotheques;
  • other late night dance venues. These are any other venues that are:
  • open between 1am and 5am;
  • serve alcohol during this time;
  • have a dancefloor (or designated space for dancing); and
  • provide music, whether live or recorded, for dancing.
  • indoor events with 500 or more unseated attendees, where those attendees are likely to stand or move around for all or part of the event, such as music venues with standing audiences or large receptions;
  • outdoor events with 4,000 or more unseated attendees, where those attendees are likely to stand or move around for all or part of the event, such as outdoor festivals; and
  • any events with 10,000 or more attendees indoor or outdoor, such as large sports and music events

Some settings will be exempt from requirements to use the NHS COVID Pass, including communal worship, wedding ceremonies, funerals and other commemorative events, protests, and mass participation sporting events.

For more information on all on the Plan B Guidelines, please visit the West Berkshire Covid-19 web pages.

With the introduction of Plan B to help stop the spread of Covid-19 and the impact on people’s lives, we continue to support the drive to get all residents vaccinated and receive their Boosters as and when they are eligible.

Within West Berkshire, there are a series of pop-up and permanent locations in which you can book your Booster vaccinations.

We have two pop-ups offering vaccinations over the next seven days.

In Hungerford, the Booster Vaccination pop-up clinic at the Cricket Club runs until Friday 17 December.

It will be closed on Saturday 11th due to a football match at the next door Hungerford Football Club. You can book appointments in advance, which are recommended, with some walk-in appointments also available. These appointments are available for 40+ and clinically vulnerable who have been called for their Booster vaccinations.

You can check availability and book here

In Kintbury at the Coronation Hall, the Health on the Move van will be offering all doses of Covid-19 vaccines on Tuesday 14 and Wednesday 15 December.

If you’ve missed your first or second dose or want to get your Booster (if you are 40+ or clinically vulnerable), you can walk in and grab a jab! 

This location is walk-in only; please do consider the weather. Depending on its popularity, you might have to wait outside for a short time. 

We also have two permanent sites which have recently opened up further appointments for Booster vaccinations.

In Lambourn, the Graham Jones Pharmacy will be opening more slots to offer an increased number of booster vaccinations.

The Kennet Shopping Vaccination Centre has moved to a larger unit to meet demand in Newbury and help the vaccination booster campaign.

If you’re eligible for a Booster and are 40+ or clinically vulnerable who have been called for their Booster vaccinations, you can book your vaccinations now via the NHS website.

We hope that using these sites to receive your Booster vaccination will further protect you, your friends and family, and the wider community from Covid-19 and help stop the spread.

And finally, don’t forget to complete a Lateral Flow Test if you are meeting someone at risk from Covid-19 or going into an environment where you are more likely to be at risk, for example, crowded and indoor events.
If you need help to complete a test, the Assisted Testing Van is at different locations throughout the week and can help you complete a test and show you how to do the tests yourself.

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