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The Guardian view on tighter Covid rules: better safe than sorry | Editorial

Ministers have announced a plan B. Now they must ensure it can be implemented

Work from home if you can; wear face masks when in public indoor spaces (except when eating, drinking or exercising); use the NHS app to prove you are vaccinated, or have recently tested negative, when entering venues with large crowds. New rules for England announced on Wednesday, and known as plan B, are intended to slow the spread of the new coronavirus variant, Omicron, with UK cases said to be doubling every three days or faster. They follow strong advice to get a booster, with the programme extended to everyone over 40 who had their previous dose more than three months ago, and a plan to recruit 10,000 more vaccinators.

Concerns are high around levels of public compliance, with fears that the political row surrounding reports of parties in Westminster last winter, as well as more general fatigue concerning restrictions, could undermine people’s willingness to adjust their behaviour. The decision not to vaccinate children under 12 is also under attack, given that Covid case rates are highest in this age group and also among adults aged 35-49 – a cohort that includes many of these children’s parents. In the US and elsewhere, younger children are being vaccinated.

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