Plan B announced - people asked to continue to play their part during challenging time

New measures will be brought in over the next week

Published 9 December 2021

As the Government implements its COVID-19 plan B measures over the next week, Wiltshire Council is asking residents and businesses to continue playing their part during this continued challenging time.

The Government announced on Wednesday (8 December) that it will be rolling out its Plan B COVID-19 measures to help slow the spread of the Omicron variant.

The additional measures announced are:

  • Face masks to become compulsory in most public indoor venues, other than hospitality, from 10 December.
  • People asked to work from home if they can from 13 December.
  • NHS Covid Pass to be mandatory in specific settings, using a negative test or full vaccination via the NHS Covid Pass from 15 December.

Parliament will discusses these measures next week, and is expected to vote on them on 14 December.

There are not many local businesses that will be impacted by the NHS Covid Pass measure, but Wiltshire Council is making contact with them to make sure they have what they need to implement the changes, and offer any support and guidance they may need. 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 required to wear face coverings in Wiltshire Council buildings including its main hubs, libraries, the Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre, and leisure centres (but not while exercising).

Wiltshire Council will continue to work closely with schools and educational settings just as it has throughout the pandemic.

People are reminded to keep washing hands regularly, wearing face coverings where required, taking lateral flow tests regularly, self-isolating and getting a PCR test when displaying any symptoms, and letting fresh air in if meeting people indoors.

The Government has stated the best line of defence is the vaccines and testing. Throughout the Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire area more than 1.7m vaccines have been given, with booster figures at more than 271,000. If it's been two months (61 days) since their second dose, people aged 40 and over, frontline health and social care workers, and those aged 16 and over with a health condition that puts them at higher risk of getting COVID-19, can pre-book their booster.

To book a first, second, or booster dose of the vaccine people should visit Government COVID-19 vaccine webpage.

Cllr Richard Clewer, Leader of Wiltshire Council, said:

"COVID-19 continues to disrupt our lives but I'm very confident that the resolve of our local communities will see us through these uncertain times.

"Businesses and people alike have reacted quickly to anything that's been asked of them during this pandemic and hopefully the additional measures being brought in will keep people as safe as possible, and ensure our health services can help those who need it.

"I'd urge everyone to please get your vaccines, and the booster when it's your turn, as they continue to be our best chance of getting back to how we want to live our lives.

"We know the uncertainty of the pandemic continues to causes stress and worry for people but, as ever, we're here to support anyone who might need us."

The latest Government guidance, including measures announced last week, can be found at government's COVID-19 info page.

The council's Wellbeing Hub at Wiltshire Council remains available in order to provide support and signposting for all residents across Wiltshire, as part of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  The hub can be contacted by telephoning 0300 003 4576 or via e mail at Wellbeinghub@wiltshire.gov.uk. The hub opening times are Monday to Friday 9am until 5pm.

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Published 9 December 2021