Mandatory face masks and vaccine passports ‘possibility’ for future

By Nikkie Thatcher contact

- Last updated on GMT

Future plan: the 32-page document from the Government reveals how it would manage Covid in the coming months (image: Getty/Natee Meepian)
Future plan: the 32-page document from the Government reveals how it would manage Covid in the coming months (image: Getty/Natee Meepian)

Related tags: Legislation, Government, Health and safety

The Government has revealed its autumn and winter plan for managing Covid and it includes a contingency plan should the NHS start to become overwhelmed with coronavirus patients.

The Covid-19 Response: Autumn and Winter Plan ​outlines a ‘plan A’, which is focused on the vaccine rollout, including calling 12 to 15-year-olds forward to receive the first dose of their vaccinations.

It highlights five steps:

  • Building defences through pharmaceutical interventions such as vaccines
  • Identifying and isolating positive cases to limit transmission through Test, Trace and Isolate
  • Supporting the NHS and social care
  • Advising people on how to protect themselves and others
  • Pursuing an international approach through helping to vaccinate the world and managing risks at borders.

The 32-page document​ includes encouraging businesses to ask employees to stay at home if they are feeling unwell. It noted that, by law, businesses must not ask or permit employees to come to work if they are required to self-isolate.

In addition, it stated there should be an adequate supply of fresh air to indoor spaces and businesses should identify any poorly ventilated spaces and aim to prove fresh air flow in these areas.

Hand sanitiser should be provided for staff and customers and surfaces that are frequently touched should be cleaned regularly.

Plan B details

It is also advised operators should display an NHS QR code poster for customers to check in and encourages firms to consider using the NHS Covid Pass.

However, the above is guidance and not legally mandated.

Furthermore, the document also outlines the Government’s ‘plan B’, which it said it has prepared if the data suggests the NHS is likely to be overwhelmed.

It went on to say while the Government hopes not to implement its ‘plan B’, “but given the uncertainty, it is setting out details now so the public and businesses know what to expect if further measures become necessary”.

Certain settings

This included introducing mandatory vaccine-only Covid-status certification in certain settings and legally mandating face coverings in certain settings.

Vaccine passports would be used as part of the ‘plan B’ and would be preferable to closing venues completely or reimposing social distancing, the document argued.

It warned if the plan was implemented, it could be at short notice and so the Government would shortly publish more details about the proposed certification regime that would be introduced as part of the plan.

It could be used for nightclubs and indoor, crowded settings with 500 or more attendees where those people are likely to be in close proximity to other households, such as music venues or large receptions.

Related topics: Legislation

Related news

Show more