Face masks could be made mandatory by law and vaccine passports demanded for nightclubs at a week’s notice under a winter ‘Plan B’ unveiled by government today.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid announced England’s Covid Plan A through to March, telling MPs there will be five pillars to keep the virus at bay and avoid another lockdown.
They are vaccination and boosters; testing, tracing and self-isolation; money for the NHS and care; general advice like meeting outside or with windows open and wearing face masks in indoor crowded spaces; and taking an international approach.
Mr Javid promised the biggest free flu vaccine rollout “this country has ever seen”, with primary and secondary school children, pregnant women and over-50s and vulnerable groups all eligible.
People will be asked to stay at home if feeling unwell, wash hands regularly and use the NHS Covid-19 app to know if they’ve been exposed.
Meanwhile the current travel system with red, green and amber lists will be torn up and replaced with a new system to be announced by October 1 – and Mr Javid said it’s “highly likely” NHS staff will be forced to get the Covid vaccine.