What does Plan B mean for Christmas parties? How the new Covid restrictions announced by the PM affect gatherings

The Prime Minister announced a new set of guidelines called Plan B amidst concerns about Omicron.

By Abi Whistance
Thursday, 9th December 2021, 11:29 am
Updated Tuesday, 14th December 2021, 10:26 am

These new measures include new guidance on face masks and working from home, as well as the introduction of Covid passes to enter large events.

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During the Downing Street press conference last week the Prime Minister stated that the new Omicron variant cannot yet be assumed to be 'less severe than previous variants', and so harsher restrictions must be put in place to reduce the spread.

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The new measures include new guidance on face masks and working from home, as well as the introduction of Covid passes to enter large events.

This is what yesterday's announcement means for gatherings and how you can get a Covid Pass.

Can I still have Christmas parties this year?

Yes, people will still be allowed to have gatherings indoors under the new guidelines.

There are no restrictions on meeting up with family and friends at home or outdoors, however parties organised at indoor venues with a capacity of 500 people or more will now require attendees to prove they have a 'Covid Pass' to enter.

What other requirements are there for gatherings?

Attendees of unseated outdoor venues with more than 4,000 people will need to prove they have a Covid Pass to enter, as well as any venue with more than 10,000 people.

What is a Covid Pass?

A Covid Pass is proof of one of five things:

The receival of both doses of the vaccine, plus a booster if eligible

A negative PCR or lateral flow test result within 48 hours of attempted entry

A positive PCR test result to prove natural immunity (lasts up to 180 days)

Proof of participation in an NHS Covid vaccine trial

You are under the age of 18 and therefore do not need to show a Covid Pass

How can I get a Covid Pass if I am vaccinated?

On the app you are able to log in using either your NHS number or name, email, phone number and address - once you are logged in you can view your vaccination record and see your Covid Pass if you are double vaccinated.

How can I get the pass if I have a negative test result?

You can enter the results of both lateral flow and PCR tests on the GOV.UK website.

Any test results logged should register on the NHS app within a few hours.

The NHS app will then display your Covid Pass for 48 hours if it is a negative test result, before another test must be done to reactivate the NHS Pass.

How do I get the pass if I have had Covid recently?

If you had Covid recently you must have had a positive PCR test and registered the results to obtain a Covid Pass.

Similar to getting a negative result, the test results should appear on the NHS app rather quickly and allow you to display your Covid immunity after the 10 day isolation period.

The NHS app will then display your Covid Pass for 180 days, before your natural immunity runs out.

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