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With just weeks to go until Christmas, the U.K. is almost repeating what happened in 2020 and tightening COVID-19 restrictions, this time in response to the rising omicron variant.
On Wednesday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that he was implementing what he called “Plan B,” which included the reintroduction of the enforcement of face mask wearing in venues including cinemas and theaters. Johnson also said that, from Friday, COVID-19 passes showing vaccination statuses would be required for entry into nightclubs and larger venues, including unseated indoor venues with more than 500 people, and once again encouraged people to work from home.
The news comes as rates of omicron sharply rise across the U.K., where there are currently 568 known cases, although Johnson acknowledged the real figure was likely much higher.
The U.K. is currently stepping up its advocacy for COVID-19 boosters.
Wednesday’s announcement came amid chaos within the British government over a Christmas party reportedly held at 10 Downing Street during lockdown last year. Following a leaked video showing aides appearing to make light of the party, Johnson’s strategist Allegra Stratton stepped down, and there have been calls from several politicians for Johnson to follow suit.
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