Health Secretary Sajid Javid has said that vulnerable under-12s will be vaccinated as he outlined Plan A Covid measures in a Downing Street conference.

Mr Javid said the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation currently advises “that we should vaccinate under-12s that are at risk and that is exactly what we plan to do, and we will start that this month, but they are keeping that under review to see if we should expand that more broadly to everyone in that cohort”.

Sajid Javid led the press conference alongside Dr Susan Hopkins from the UK Health and Security Agency where he expanded on the introduction new measures after Boris Johnson announced earlier on Wednesday that the current Plan B measures were to be relaxed.

Mr Javid said that the government will be introducing three important changes as part of the Plan A response in England.

The changes outlined will not affect Scotland and Wales with devolved nations having their own Covid guidance in place.


What did Sajid Javid say in his Covid announcement?

The changes include an end to working from home, mandatory certification will also come to an end but organisations can continue to do this voluntarily from next Thursday.

The Health Secretary also confirmed that the masks will no longer be required from next Thursday as well but the government recommends that face coverings should be worn "enclosed and crowded places".

The government is currently looking to replace legal requirements on self-isolation and is looking to ease restrictions on the access to care homes.

Mr Javid thanked "the huge collective effort" that has allowed these restrictions to be relaxed but warned that "this was not the finish line".

What did Boris Johnson announce today?

Bournemouth Echo: Boris Johnson speaking in the House of Commons. Credit: PABoris Johnson speaking in the House of Commons. Credit: PA

Amid calls to resign, Mr Johnson announced that facemasks and Covid passports will be no longer be required from tomorrow with just self-isolation rules remaining. 

The PM told the Commons: "We resisted calls from others to shut down our country all over again.

"This government took a different path. We supported businesses that faced a reduce demand.

"The data is showing that time and again this Government got the tough decisions right.

"Cases are falling in England. Our scientists think it is likely the Omicron wave has now peaked nationally.

"Hospital admissions which were doubling every nine days have now stabilised, with admissions in places falling.

"This morning, the Cabinet decided that we can return to Plan A in England.

Under the easing, the working from home guidance will be removed and face coverings will no longer need to be worn in classrooms. 

What are the current Plan B restrictions?

The current plan B restrictions, outlined below, are set to expire on Januray 26. 

The Plan B measures were introduced to combat the wave of cases driven by the Omicron variant, with the aim of buying time to offer more booster jabs.

  • Face masks are mandatory in most indoor venues including theatres and cinemas 
  • Work from home guidance 
  • The NHS Covid pass is to be made mandatory in England's nightclubs and large venues ( indoor more than 500 people, unseated outdoor venues with more than 4,000 people, and any venue with more than 10,000 people.)