Around 50,000 cases, 1,000 hospitalizations and 135 deaths in a day. These are alarming figures recorded by British authorities in the last 7 days. Fortunately, this is a far cry from the peaks of last January, when more than a thousand victims a day and 4,000 were hospitalized. But the fact that the situation ahead of the winter season worries Boris Johnson’s government.
That is why many experts and the opposition Labor Party itself are calling for the adoption of new restrictive measures. The so-called “Plan B” that’s been in Downing Street’s drawer since last September but which the Premier doesn’t want out yet, prefers to select a “Plan A” based on sweep tests and vaccinations. The Weekly Observer wrote that last Friday the Health Protection Agency surveyed local officials to assess the degree of their support for the immediate implementation of Plan B.
There are currently no specific restrictions nationally in the UK. With no masks, no social distancing obligatory since July 19, stadiums and arenas have reopened to full capacity, in short, everything is as if covid did not exist, or almost. However, there are significant differences between England, Scotland, and Wales. England has the most liberal regime: masks are mandatory only in hospitals and the RSA, in closed or crowded places only a recommendation but no legal impediment. There is no legal obligation to present the Green Pass at public events such as matches or shows, organizers may only request it for individual events.
Scotland and Wales tough
Strict rules in Scotland, where the Green Pass is binding for entry to pubs, matches or shows from 1 October. The use of masks is mandatory in most closed places. Similar measures are in place in Wales, where they started on 11 October.
What does “Plan B” offer?
So what is the Plan B that Johnson might decide to launch if the pandemic intensifies? If the national health system finds itself in a state of “unbearable pressure” the plan is ready to begin. Its pillars are: the compulsion to wear a mask in certain indoor locations, on modes of transport, or in crowded situations; the possibility of introducing the obligation of a vaccination passport, at least for access to discos or large mass events (concerts, sporting events); Encouraging citizens to work from home; Launch a communication campaign that invites people to exercise extreme caution in their behavior.
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