January 27, 2022 10.45 am

Mandatory mask wearing ends as England moves out of COVID-19 Plan B restrictions

Reverting to Plan A restrictions from today

NHS COVID passes will no longer be required by law at venues and mandatory face coverings have been scrapped as part of the government’s announcement to move out of Plan B restrictions from Thursday.

The rules were introduced over the Christmas period to combat the rapid growth of cases brought on by the Omicron variant of coronavirus.

In Lincolnshire, the situation worsened to the extent of critical and major incidents being declared at United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust due to huge staffing issues.

Military personnel has been drafted in at both ULHT and East Midlands Ambulance Service to help with the staff shortages.

However, the government has now called for these Plan B restrictions to be relaxed, meaning the rules have been reverted mostly to what they were pre-Omicron.

From Thursday, January 27, people in England will no longer be legally required to wear face coverings in indoor settings, except for on public transport in London, where it remains mandatory.

The Department for Education is advising masks are no longer needed in communal areas at schools, though directors of public health for local authorities will have the option to reintroduce measures if cases spike again.

You will also not need to show an NHS COVID pass at venues and events by law anymore, but the relevant venues can still ask for COVID passes at their own discretion.

It comes a week after staff and pupils in secondary schools were told they didn’t need to wear masks in classrooms anymore, and eight days on from working from home guidance being scrapped.

The next measures to be changed will be on February 11, when there will be no requirement for vaccinated passengers arriving in England to do lateral flow tests once they arrive.

Those who are not fully vaccinated will need to test before they leave England, as well as taking a post-arrival PCR test, but they will not need to isolate straight away.