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Face masks optional from January 27 as Prime Minister scraps Plan B

Prime Minister Boris Johnson

Government’s work from home advice and the mandatory wearing of face masks will be scrapped after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced an end to COVID-19 Plan B measures.

Speaking in the House of Commons this afternoon the PM said that work at home advice would be lifted immediately, with requirements to wear face coverings and mandatory COVID passes also set to be lifted from Thursday, January 27.

He said that he does not expect to renew the regulations when they expire on March 24.

Under the new advice pupils will no longer have to wear face masks in classrooms and employees working from home were told to speak to their employer about their return to the workplace.

Different approaches are likely to be taken by the UK’s devolved regions of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

News of the changes in England are likely to be welcomed by car retailers who have found themselves facing a “staffing crisis”, partly due to COVID-prompted absences.

A poll conducted by AM earlier this month found that a quarter (25%) of UK car dealers had emerged from the festive break with staff absence of over 15% as the Omicron variant of COVID-19 continued to grow cases.

Before Christmas AM reported that rising cases of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 were exposing anti-vaxxers as one of the car retail sector’s biggest business disruptors.

Today’s changes to COVID-19 legislation come after the number of people infected with COVID-19 showed its most significant decline since the arrival of the Omicron wave.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has estimated that 3,437,200 people in the UK would have tested positive for coronavirus in the week ending January 15 – down from 4.3 million a week earlier.

The Prime Minister also suggested that the end may be in sight for self-isolation.


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