Business leaders and scientists criticized No10 for deciding to panic and launch Plan B immediately, although they had completely different reasons.

Experts worry that WFH guidelines and the introduction vaccine passports by the Government won’t be enough to prevent an impending Omicron outbreak.

MailOnline was told by Professor Paul Hunter (an epidemiologist at the University of East Anglia) that he wasn’t optimistic about the backup strategy. 

This will undoubtedly raise questions about whether more severe restrictions are needed in the next weeks, especially if the super-mutant variant shows no signs of slowing.

Tonight, Tory MPs reacted furiously to Boris Johnson’s announcement at a dark Downing Street press conference. Politicians heckled Health Secretary Sajid javid while he also confirmed it in the Commons.  

Backbenchers accused Government of dropping plans to “learn how to live alongside Covid” and question the data that was used to support the restriction. 

The fears were raised that the new measures will cause further turmoil in the already fragile hospitality industry.

According to business leaders in the entertainment and hospitality industries, the WFH advise will be devastating for businesses that are busy during peak months.

The move to mandate the NHS Covid Pass in large nightclubs was also condemned by other sectors of the economy. 

Professor Paul Hunter, an epidemiologist based at the University of East Anglia, told MailOnline he was 'pessimistic' the back-up strategy would work

Professor Christina Pagel, a mathematician at University College London, said

MailOnline was told by Professor Paul Hunter, an epidemiologist at the University of East Anglia. He said he wasn’t optimistic that the backup strategy would succeed. Professor Christina Pagel (right), who is a University College London mathematician, stated that he was ‘pessimistic’ about the back-up strategy. 

Which are the new Covid laws in England?

Boris Johnson, the Government’s Covid Plan B Implementer, announced tonight. 

This means: 


Guidance on returning to work at home. If they’re able, people will be instructed to work remotely in England starting Monday.

Facial mask

Starting Friday, all public indoor venues will require facemasks. In bars, restaurants, and gyms they will not be needed.

Vaccine passports 

To gain entry to large nightclubs or other venues that host large numbers of people, the NHS Covid card is mandatory. 

It will also apply to unseated indoor venues with greater than 500 persons, outdoor venues with more that 4,000 people, and all venues with more people than 10,000. 

One dose of each vaccine will be given to a child who is fully vaccinated. This will still be monitored by the booster program. 

Also, a negative lateral flow test is sufficient. 

To allow businesses to plan, this requirement will be implemented in a week. 

Get in touch 

Omicron case contacts will be asked to submit daily coronavirus test results, rather than self-isolating. If they are positive, they will be quarantined.    

MailOnline was informed by Professor Hunter that he is not optimistic about the possibility of stopping the spread omicron. 

‘But I am hopeful that because we have both high vaccine coverage and high prior infection and because we are rolling out the booster dose better than virtually anywhere else we can at least manage the impact of the increase in omicron.

‘I think plan B would be enough to push R below 1.0 for most delta, though uncertain it would stop AY.4.2 — Delta plus.’

He said, “It wouldn’t be enough to push Rfor Omicron even near to 1.0.” We can still see rapid growth even with Plan B.

“I doubt that even if they had acted sooner, we would have done enough to stop the spread of Omicron for so long.” 

And Professor Christina Pagel, a mathematician at University College London, said: ‘I think many elements of Plan B could help slow spread. 

“But vaccine passports seem completely pointless since we have seen Omicron superspreaders in fully vaxxed group. 

“It is unclear that vaccine passports are going to stop Omicron-related superspreading events in people who have been fully vaccinated. This could distract government officials and citizens from taking other effective steps. 

With experts doubting the restrictions will have any effect on stemming the tide of cases expected — and even hinting more restrictions may be necessary — Tory MPs slammed the decision to announce Plan B today.

Former cabinet minister Dr Liam Fox said: ‘On the evidence that we’ve seen so far I think it’s difficult to justify these extra measures, but I do welcome the shift from isolation to daily tests — which is sensible.

“But, in the larger picture, we cannot allow permanent threats to overload the NHS as an option for maintaining semi-permanent restraints on our people.

William Wragg yelled “resign” when Mr Javid announced the establishment of Covid certification, which is based on vaccinations or testing in large-scale events and nightclubs.

He said that the measures weren’t something ministers would want to adopt, and the room erupted in screams of “rubbish” and “what a bunch of old tripe”.

Labour MPs pointed out Tory MPs that were wearing face covers when Mr Javid extended the legal requirement.

Business leaders also described the mandatory NHS Covid pass in venues that host large numbers of people as “devastating news” for this sector.

The PM stated that everyone should work remotely again, and that masks could be extended to nightclubs.

Boris Johnson, UK PM orders WFH return and more COVID passports 

Boris Johnson tonight pushed the button on Plan B coronavirus curbs amid fears that Omicron could be causing 1,000 hospital admissions a day by the end of the year.

The PM spoke at a Downing Street press conference and stated that everyone should work again from home, extend the use of masks, and introduce Covid passports to nightclubs.

Johnson will have to fight for his support as No10 is in turmoil over claims of illegal Christmas parties.

The premier said it was necessary to move to Plan B to ‘buy time’ for the NHS and to learn more about the new strain. 

He stated that Omicron was growing faster than any other Delta-type variants and spreading quickly all over the globe.

Although 568 confirmed cases have been reported in the UK, “the real number is certain” – possibly as high as 10,000.

“Most alarmingly, evidence suggests that Omicron’s doubling time could be as short as two days.

From Friday, the use of masks in theatres and cinemas is mandatory. However, hospitality is exempt. 

Johnson indicated that negative lateral flows tests would be allowed at nightclubs as well as for NHS Covid passports. 

He stated that businesses will be given a notice of one week so the changes will take effect in a week.

On Monday, the PM stated that people shouldn’t go to work but should instead be able to stay at home. 

UK Hospitality Chief Executive Kate Nicholls stated: “While the government acknowledges that hosting celebrations is safe, and they can continue to do so in the run up to Christmas,” the announcements today will have a significant impact on consumer confidence, and are especially devastating for city- and town center venues. 

“As such, they are at risk of destroying the hospitality sector during the most critical time of the year.” 

“We are in desperate need of support to overcome this new set of restrictions. I urge you to back our industry.”

Greg Parmley (CEO of LIVE), is chief executive for the music industry trade organization. Parmley stated that there was an unfair double standard in new rules concerning the NHS Covid passes for venues and nightclubs.

Mr Parmley said: ‘The introduction of Plan B results is an unfair double standard that allows people to go on all-day pub crawls in crowded bars without having to prove their Covid status, whilst live music venues get hit with certification.

‘Across the country, music venues and events already have tried, tested and workable systems in place to ensure that live events continue to be safe — and these remain effective.

“But, after such an extended closure throughout the pandemic. It is important the sector is able remain open. Government listens to the industry and includes lateral flow test in Covid certification. 

Michael Kill, the chief executive officer of the Night Time Industries Association, criticized the UK’s decision to require the NHS Covid card in England for clubs and other venues that host large numbers.

He declared that the announcement by the government of Plan B was a devastating blow to nightlife.

‘Vaccine Passports have a damaging impact on Night Time Economy businesses, as we have seen in other parts of the UK where they have been implemented like Scotland — where trade is down 30 per cent — and Wales, where it down 26 per cent.

The UK Government twice ruled out VaccinePassports before twice changing its mind. 

‘The mixed public health messages this week that have been coming out of the Government have arrived at the worst possible time — the pre-Christmas period is absolutely crucial for our sector. 

Kill added: “And now, it is announced damaging VaccinePassports are to being implemented.

The Prime Minister is not saving Christmas. He has brought more misery to businesses who are trying desperately to recuperate losses suffered earlier in the pandemic. 

“The fact that companies have been allowed only one week to implement such a drastic change in their operating models is insulting.”

Jace Tyrrell (CEO of New West End Company), which represents 600 brands in London’s West End and restaurants in London, stated that businesses would be hit hard by the home-based work order.

According to him, ‘While safety and wellness are our highest priority and we fully support compulsory mask wear in shops and offices, but the renewal of the “work from home” order during the busiest trading season of the year is devastating for retail and leisure tenants.

‘Many businesses have committed time and money in their Christmas plans in a bid to make up for last year’s losses — vital investment that they won’t be able to recoup.’