Trade bodies welcome end of Plan B restrictions

By Gary Lloyd contact

- Last updated on GMT

Rule change: face masks are not compulsory in public spaces in England any longer
Rule change: face masks are not compulsory in public spaces in England any longer

Related tags: Legislation, Licensing, Social responsibility

UKHospitality has said the end of Plan B measures in England, which takes place today (Thursday 27 January) is a “huge and welcome step” for the sector.

The trade body’s chief executive Kate Nichols said on Twitter: “Plan B measures come to an end in England today – huge and welcome step to allow for hospitality and tourism recovery.

“Looking forward to working with [the Government] on the next step, setting out how we live with variants without economic constraints and with DAs to remove final restrictions.”

British Beer & Pub Association chief executive Emma McClarkin said via Twitter: “Cheers to the end of Plan B. However, there is much more to be done to secure the long-term survival of our much-loved pubs and breweries.”

No longer compulsory

The end of Plan B in England means face masks are no longer compulsory in public spaces but their use will still be “recommended” in some places and Covid passes are no longer compulsory to gain entry to venues and events in England while rules also being relaxed in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Although mandatory Covid passes have been scrapped in England and scaled down in Northern Ireland, venues can still continue to insist on customers wearing them on a voluntary basis. Additionally, venues can still ask customers to provide evidence of their vaccination status or a recent negative test if they want to.

The Covid pass scheme means no face masks will now be needed at nightclubs, indoor unseated venues with more than 500 people, unseated outdoor venues with more than 4,000 people and any venue with more than 10,000 people in England.

Meanwhile, Northern Ireland’s Covid passport scheme is no longer mandatory for pubs, restaurants, cinemas and theatres but venues are being encouraged to carry on using it.

Passes still mandatory in NI nightclubs 

However, Covid passes are still mandatory to enter newly reopened nightclubs, unseated indoor events and any partially seated event with more than 500 in attendance. Attendees can gain entry if they either show proof of vaccination, proof of a negative lateral flow test taken in the previous 48 hours or proof of a positive PCR test taken in the previous 30 to 180 days.

In Scotland, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said its Covid pass scheme is not being extended to cinemas and theatres but are still required for entry to nightclubs and “analogous venues”, sexual entertainment venues, unseated indoor events with more than 500 people (even if some are seated), unseated outdoor events with more than 4,000 people and any event with more than 10,000 people in attendance.

In Wales, customers must still show an NHS Covid Pass to enter cinemas, theatres and concert halls. Prior to the current restrictions, which are due to be lifted in the coming weeks, the scheme also applied to nightclubs and comparable venues, unseated indoor live events for more than 500 people, unseated outdoor live events for more than 4,000 people and any event for more than 10,000 people.

Related topics: Legislation

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