Measures to prevent the rise of Covid through the winter of 2021 were announced this afternoon, with planning for two different scenarios, Plan A and Plan B.
1)The Government will continue to make vaccines easily available to everybody to maximise uptake among those that are eligible but have not yet taken up the offer in England.
2)The JCVI has consequently advised that those in priority groups 1-9 should be offered a COVID-19 booster, no earlier than 6 months after completion of their primary course. A booster shot of a COVID-19 vaccine will ensure protection is maintained at a high level throughout the winter.
3) Following advice from the JCVI and UK Chief Medical Officers, the NHS will offer those 12-15 year olds not covered by previous advice with a first dose of the Pfizer vaccine. The NHS, working with school immunisation teams, will offer a first dose of vaccine to 12-15 year olds from next week, the week commencing 20 September
The Government’s Plan B prioritises measures which can help control transmission of the virus while seeking to minimise economic and social impacts.
1) Communicating clearly and urgently to the public that the level of risk has increased, and with it the need to behave more cautiously.
2) Introducing mandatory vaccine-only COVID-status certification in certain settings.
3) Legally mandating face coverings in certain settings.
4)The Government would also consider asking people once again to work from home if they can, for a limited period. The Government recognises this causes more disruption and has greater immediate costs to the economy and some businesses than the other Plan B interventions, so a final decision would be made based on the data at the time.