Face masks, vaccine passports, and ‘last resort’ lockdowns in COVID ‘plan B’ for winter

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Lockdowns, mandatory face masks, vaccine certificates, and work from home orders could return this winter as part of a "plan B" to deal with the pandemic, the health secretary has announced.

Sajid Javid said if the data shows the NHS is likely to come under "unsustainable pressure" from the COVID-19 pandemic again, the government has prepared a "plan B" for England.

This will include:

• Lockdowns "as a last resort"

• Making face coverings legally mandatory in certain settings

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• Asking people to work from home if they can, for a limited period

• Introducing mandatory vaccine certificates for certain settings

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• Communicating clearly and urgently the level of risk has increased, so more caution needs to be taken.

Mr Javid told the Commons: "Any responsible government must prepare for all eventualities, and although these measures are not an outcome anyone wants, it's one that we need to be ready for just in case."

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