COVID: Face masks are being reimposed in these settings

The government will not be rolling out 'Plan B' but face masks are being reinstated in certain settings.

The United Kingdom has been experiencing a dangerous increase in COVID rates since the beginning of back-to-school season. This week, daily cases have dropped by a slight 0.4% but deaths and hospitalisations are up by 7.8% and 16% respectively.

New COVID wave

In face of this fresh wave that has been taking over the country, several scientists and medical professionals have been urging the government to implement ‘Plan B’—a winter protocol that was drawn up in case that COVID overwhelms the NHS. Under the plan, face masks are supposed to make a return, along with work from home initiatives, and a possible vaccine passport.

While the government has publicly announced that they will not be launching Plan B due to the disastrous impact it’ll have on the economy, face masks are slowly being reinstated in a few settings.

Face mask in Parliament

Today (27 October) it was revealed that face coverings will be obligatory for all employees, contractors, visitors, and media officials in the Parliament. A spokesperson from the House of Commons said:

Due to recent increases in Covid-19 across the country, which are also being reflected in Parliament, we have updated our Covid-19 guidance for those working on the estate.
Face coverings are now mandatory for all staff, contractors and third parties while on the estate, unless there is a legitimate exemption in place.

On the contrary, MPs will be exempted from following this rule, but according to the Mirror, they will be encouraged to wear a face covering when they are in the chamber.

Face masks in schools

Additionally, the wearing of face masks will be reinstated in certain settings in schools, including hallways and assemblies. As reported by Metro.co.uk, local health directors can instruct schools, that are in regions with high COVID rates, to impose the mandatory wearing of face masks.

This time around, infections have been soaring amongst the younger school-going populations, and authorities are hoping that these subtle measures will be enough to bring the current wave under control. Various sources have also revealed that ministers will only be making a decision on Plan B after the half-term break, which is from the 25 to 29 October, is over.

COVID: Face masks are still required in these settings COVID: Face masks are still required in these settings