Covid plan B: Councils break from government to bring back masks and home-working

Asia's Tech News Daily

Covid plan B: Councils break from government to bring back masks and home-working

The government has resisted calls to put Plan B measures into place


Local councils have told residents to follow tougher Covid measures than national rules as the government resists calls to put plan B contingency plan into place amid rising infections.

Authorities across the country have urged people in their area to work from home and reimpose mask-wearing in schools to tackle the spread of Covid.

Residents in Liverpool, Windsor and Suffolk are among those who have been told by local public health teams to follow stricter measures amid concerns over Covid rates.

Earlier this week, the UK recorded more than 50,000 cases in a single day for the first time since July, while average daily Covid hospital admissions in England rose to their highest level for nearly eight months.

The government has so far resisted calls from NHS bosses to implement Plan B, a stricter set of Covid measures to tackle coronavirus which includes compulsory mask wearing and an appeal to work from home.

But local councils have been taking action amid the surge in cases and fears of a winter crisis.

Liverpool City Council has advised residents to work from home where they can, while secondary school pupils are told to wear face masks in communal areas in schools, with the exception of classrooms.

“With Covid-19 infections steadily increasing, and health and social care services already under exceptional pressure, we are facing a very difficult winter,” Matthew Ashton, the local director of public health, said.

“We are also expecting that there may be high levels of flu around before Christmas.”

He added: “It is time now that we take additional steps locally to prevent a winter crisis, so that we can keep our critical services going.”

Also this week, headteachers in the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead were told to bring back masks in communal areas and reduce mixing of pupils.

“We strongly advise that head teachers implement these enhanced measures, over and above current government guidance, as soon as is practicable,” local public health officials said.

Bolton Council urged schools to consider stricter Covid measures from the start of this week, including the wearing of face masks inside for pupils in Year 7 and above, as well as virtual assemblies.

Schools in Walsall have also been advised to consider bringing back face masks for older students in communal areas, and for the reintroduction of “bubbles” – where children are kept in groups to limit mixing with others – in younger years.

Stephen Gunther, the director of public health for Walsall, said: “With cases of Covid-19 high again in Walsall – including those in the under-19 age groups – we think now is the time for schools to bring back Covid secure measures.”

Suffolk Council also told schools this week to have pupils and staff wearing face masks onsite.

The government says local public health directors may advise schools to “temporarily reintroduce” stricter measures if there is a “substantial increase” in Covid cases in its setting or they are in local areas targeted for extra support.

Other councils, including Devon and Cornwall, and individual schools across the country have already asked pupils to wear face coverings in schools this term.

The Independent previously reported on schools imposing their own stricter test-and-trace system in a bid to limit outbreaks.

Sajid Javid, the health secretary, said on Wednesday there were no plans to put Plan B into place “at the moment, saying pressures on the NHS were not yet “unsustainable”.

Boris Johnson has also said numbers were “high” but within the parameters” forecast by scientists advising the government as he resisted calls for tougher Covid rules.

One local council’s lead member for health said he was “really frustrated” to hear the government was not planning on tightening measures nationally.

“We will soon enter the winter period which is always a challenging time for the most vulnerable members of our community and for our health and care workers,” added Mike Bell, the deputy leader of North Somerset Council.

“I would much rather action is taken now to protect people before case rates spiral and people become ill, and to ease the winter pressures on our hard-working care and health services.”

The World Health Organisation has warned that the vaccine alone will not be able to lift the world out of the pandemic.

“We really have to do other measures,” spokesperson Margaret Harris told Times Radio on Saturday.

“We have got to be serious about not crowding. We have still got to be looking at wearing the masks, when you’re indoors particularly.”

Mr Javid urged the public this week to follow guidance over wearing face masks in crowded spaces.

A Department for Education spokesperson said protective measures in school “strike a balance” between managing transmission risk, including with regular Covid testing and vaccines for older staff and students, and reducing disruption “by removing the need for close contacts in bubbles to self-isolate and for face coverings to be worn in most cases.”

A government spokesperson said “we always knew the coming months would be challenging which is why we set out our plan for autumn and winter last month”.

They said the vaccination programme “has significantly weakened the link between cases, hospitalisations and deaths” and will keeping being the “first line of defence” against Covid. The spokesperson also urged those eligible to get a booster jab.

From news to politics, travel to sport, culture to climate – The Independent has a host of free newsletters to suit your interests. To find the stories you want to read, and more, in your inbox, click here.

Internet Explorer Channel Network
Asia's Tech News Daily
News Related


‘Overwhelming' evidence against Jussie Smollett, says prosecution in closing arguments

Photograph: Scott Olson/Getty Images Lawyers delivered their closing arguments on Wednesday in Jussie Smollett’s criminal trial where the former Empire actor is facing charges that he lied to Chicago police ... Read more »

Videos capture Coast Guard pulling woman's body from car yards above Niagara Falls

This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.Update your settings here to see it. NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (AP) — A U.S. Coast Guard diver braved death Wednesday to ... Read more »

Party's over, Boris Johnson… we're pig sick of these porkies

LAST year. The grimmest Christmas since 1940. Lockdown across the country. Government ministers lecturing us to socially distance and stay within our bloody bubbles. Allegra Stratton, the PM's ex-press secretary, ... Read more »

The world needs an omicron proof vaccine – and manufactures are dashing to make them

© Provided by The Telegraph Telegraph graphic A welter of new laboratory data showing the extent to which omicron can escape antibodies has been published in the last 48 hours. ... Read more »

This #Aesthetic Stationery Set Will Make You Feel Like a Kid Again

© Provided by PHOTO BY The Everyday © Provided by PHOTO BY The Everyday ( If you grew up in the late ’80s, ’90s, or early 2000s, we ... Read more »

PHL Olympians honor BAVI, Mascariñas with Arête Award

© Business Mirror THE Philippine Olympians Association (POA) honored Bounty Agro Ventures Inc. (BAVI), the company behind Chooks-to-Go, with the Arête Award recently. BAVI earned the recognition for honoring the ... Read more »

Biden warns Putin of sanctions on Russia if it invades Ukraine

© Provided by BusinessWorld RUSSIAN President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting on economic issues via a video link in Sochi, Russia, Dec. 7. — REUTERS © Provided by BusinessWorld RUSSIAN ... Read more »

Bill Gates says 2021 was the hardest year of his life

© Provided by CNET Bill Gates has hope that 2022 will be a better year. GatesNotes If 2021 was a tough year for you, you’re not alone. Microsoft co-founder and ... Read more »

Do we need booster shots to fight Omicron? Experts divided

As researchers learn more about the Omicron variant of COVID-19, some say that booster shots are looking like an increasingly good idea to help fight the pandemic. © Dinendra Haria/SOPA ... Read more »

U.S. told Deutsche Bank that it may have violated criminal settlement -WSJ

(Reuters) – The U.S. Justice Department has told Deutsche Bank that it may have violated a criminal settlement when it failed to tell prosecutors about an internal complaint in its ... Read more »

Didn't officers guarding No 10 know a party was going on? asks Baroness

Boris Johnson – Jessica Taylor/UK Parliament Scotland Yard was last night coming under increasing pressure to explain whether any of the officers on duty during the alleged Downing Street party ... Read more »

US to decide quickly if Iran serious about nuclear talks

© JOE KLAMAR Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator Ali Bagheri Kani is seen leaving the Coburg palace, venue of the meeting aimed at reviving the Iran nuclear deal, in Vienna on ... Read more »

Murphy Morobe: The fight against corruption is a fight for the survival of our democracy

The fight against corruption may seem to be more against the pecuniary aspects of that corruption – people stealing money from the state – but it is at heart a ... Read more »

Ebrahim Ismail Ebrahim (Ebie): An indispensable and gentle man with extraordinary reserves of power and endurance

When he worked as Jacob Zuma’s adviser, Ebrahim Ismail Ebrahim sought to influence a man we had both worked closely with in exile. Although Ebie never spoke out publicly, he ... Read more »

The Constitution Hill precinct — seat of justice and a living museum

Friday, 10 December 2021 marks 25 years of our country’s Constitution. Maverick Citizen will publish articles throughout the week commemorating the occasion with various reflections from ordinary South Africans and ... Read more »

'Coronation Street' Christmas spoilers: eight explosive storylines

© Provided by WhatToWatch Coronation Street Christmas spoilers – The Rovers at Christmas Here are eight huge Coronation Street Christmas spoilers! Christmas in Corrie is set to be a very ... Read more »

Soccer-Tuchel slams complacent Chelsea after Zenit draw

© Reuters/ANTON VAGANOV Champions League – Group H – Zenit St Petersburg v Chelsea ST PETERSBURG, Russia (Reuters) – Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel critcised his players for lack of effort ... Read more »

Can Starbucks workers defeat a ‘hostile and vicious' campaign and start the company's first union?

© AP Richard Bensinger, left, who is advising unionization efforts, along with baristas Casey Moore, right, Brian Murray, second from left, and Jaz Brisack, second from right, discuss their efforts ... Read more »

Australia news live update: Barnaby Joyce tests positive for Covid; increase in NSW cases linked to more parties; Omicron could become dominant variant

© Photograph: Lukas Coch/AAP Australian deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce has returned a positive Covid test in Washington, DC. LIVE – Updated at 22:06 A trivia night at a Sydney ... Read more »

Livingston 1-0 Hibs: Two sent off as fans turn on manager

© Hibernian manager Jack Ross cuts a frustrated figure after seeing his side slip to another defeat At the end of an abject performance, summed up by Martin Boyle’s missed ... Read more »

Ellis Jenkins backs depleted Cardiff to surprise Toulouse - "We've got some stardust"

Staring down a Champions Cup curtain-raiser against the reigning kings of Europe is a daunting task at the best of times, never mind doing so with most of one’s squad ... Read more »

Timeline of events since Jussie Smollett reported attack

The Associated PressActor Jussie Smollett arrives with his mother Janet at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse on Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2021, day seven of his trial in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex ... Read more »

MK Dons 1-1 Plymouth Argyle: FLW reports as Steven Schumacher earns first point as Pilgrims boss

© Provided by Football League World Euro Under 21 Qualifier – Group 3 – England U21 v Austria U21 Conor Grant’s second half equaliser earned Plymouth Argyle their first point ... Read more »

New measures brought in to ensure flaws in Afghanistan evacuation are not repeated

© EPA Foreign secretary Liz Truss – EPA New measures have been brought in by the government to ensure that the deep flaws exposed in the Afghan evacuation process are ... Read more »

John Higgins hits out at Ronnie O'Sullivan for telling kids not to play snooker

© PA Archive John Higgins (right) has hit out at Ronnie O’Sullivan’s comments (Nigel French/PA) – PA Archive John Higgins has described Ronnie O’Sullivan’s comments telling young children not to ... Read more »

How West Side Story's Cast Feels About Stephen Sondheim's Death And Legacy

© Provided by CinemaBlend Ariana DeBose dancing as Anita in West Side Story Movie musicals have been consistently releasing throughout 2021, but there’s one more arriving in theaters before the ... Read more »

I'm A Celeb's Ant and Dec double down on savage Boris Johnson criticism after PMQs

Ant McPartlin and Dec Donnelly left fans in hysterics as they made another dig at Boris Johnson on I’m A Celebrity tonight. The hosts referenced their mention in Prime Minister’s ... Read more »

Biden faces ‘urgent' calls for mass pardons for cannabis convictions

© AP cannabis Members of Congress have “urgently” requested an update from President Joe Biden on whether he plans to pardon all nonviolent federal convictions for cannabis as the holiday ... Read more »

PICS: Salman Khan and Aayush Sharma opt for casual look as they get papped at the airport

B-Town celebs make it a point to always dress to impress – be it at a grand movie screening or even something as casual as a flight to their next ... Read more »

Fauci predice que tercera inyección de vacuna es “cuestión de cuándo, no si”

© Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. Brote de virus El Dr. Anthony Fauci, director del Instituto Nacional de Alergias y Enfermedades Infecciosas, dijo que cree que la ... Read more »

Boris Johnson CANCELS boozy Christmas bash with donors after Partygate scandal

BORIS Johnson cancelled a boozy Christmas bash with 120 donors over the party scandal. The Prime Minister was due to attend with Cabinet ministers such as Chancellor Rishi Sunak. Boris ... Read more »

France arrests two suspects planning Christmas knife attack

France has arrested two men on suspicion of planning a “jihadist-inspired” knife attack, judicial sources told AFP. The attack was reportedly intended to target passers-by “around Christmas time” in shopping ... Read more »

I'm A Celebrity fans send Naughty Boy home after he infuriates campmates and viewers

I'M A Celebrity has axed its fourth campmate in the show's latest brutal eviction – with Naughty Boy leaving tonight. The 40-year-old music producer, who was the subject of more ... Read more »

'I'm A Celebrity' viewers applaud Ant and Dec for Boris Johnson 'partygate' jibes

Ant and Dec took aim at the PM. (ITV) I’m A Celebrity viewers have said they loved seeing hosts Ant and Dec “ripping into Boris Johnson” over the Christmas party ... Read more »

Town drops charges against man flying profane anti-Biden flag, ACLU of Kansas says

A Kansan says he is grateful he’ll be allowed to continue flying his “F— Biden” flag after his town dropped all related charges against him. David Sain, of Blue Rapids, ... Read more »

Jefe policial es confirmado como titular de agencia fronteriza de EE.UU.

El Senado de los Estados Unidos confirmó el 7 de diciembre a Chris Magnus, actual jefe de policía de la fronteriza ciudad de Tucson, Arizona, como el nuevo comisionado de ... Read more »

How new Western sanctions might target Russia

© Reuters/HANNIBAL HANSCHKE FILE PHOTO: Nord Stream 2 land fall facility in Lubmin By Karin Strohecker and Katya Golubkova LONDON (Reuters) – With tensions high between Moscow and Western powers, ... Read more »

US delegation to head to Vienna for indirect Iran nuclear talks

© Provided by Al Jazeera A top European Union official says nuclear talks will resume on Thursday in the Austrian capital [EU Delegation in Vienna/Handout via Reuters] The United States ... Read more »

It's Not Too Late To Get Your Kids Holiday PJs — Snag Some From Carter's for Up To 20% Off on Amazon Now

© Adobe; Amazon. Design: Ashley Britton/SheKnows. It’s not too late to put a little holiday spirit into your kids’ bedtime routine and it’s never possible to have too many festive ... Read more »

Manitoba task force will look at sending some patients out of province to address surgical, diagnostic backlog

© Randall McKenzie/CBC Manitoba Health Minister Audrey Gordon announced a new task force to help address the thousands of postponed diagnostic, testing and surgical procedures throughout the pandemic. A long-awaited Manitoba ... Read more »
On you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic