News for Tool Hire, Equipment Hire & Plant Hire and Rental Professionals

Plan B announced

9 December 2021

Plan B announced

In an unexpected press conference yesterday evening, the Prime Minister announced the introduction of what’s known as Plan B – tighter restrictions in England to reduce the spread of the new Omicron variant ahead of Christmas. 

Similar stronger measures are already in place in the devolved nations and Ireland. 

The restrictions include guidance to work from home if possible from next week, wearing face masks in enclosed spaces like theatres, and showing proof of vaccination or a negative lateral flow test to attend public settings with large crowds, such as indoor unseated venues with more than 500 people like exhibitions. 

The reason is that Omicron is spreading extraordinarily quickly, with numbers doubling in two to three days. Health Secretary Sajid Javid believes there could be a million cases by the end of December. Currently, most patients are said to be younger in years and at less risk of serious illness, although this variant is still new and measures have to be taken to protect an NHS that is already under strain.

However, the restrictions are a far cry from the lockdown over last Christmas. People can socialise if sensible, attend events if they follow the guidance and schools remain open. 

And Plan B – which was announced ironically a year to the day after the world’s first coronavirus vaccine was administered in the UK – contains nothing that unduly affects the hire and construction industries. The supply and manufacture of equipment, and the movement of people on work sites, should be virtually unhindered.

The Plan B regulations are set to expire six weeks after implementation, with a review after three weeks. Hopefully acting now will give the best chance of lifting the restrictions before long.

So we should remain calm, compliant and busy.  

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