PRIME Minister Boris Johnson announced Covid Plan B was now being implemented to prevent further spread of the Omicron variant.

The new rules have several elements that are being introduced over the next few days.

So when are the various rules coming into force in Worcestershire?

Face masks

The first new rule that comes into force starts tomorrow, December 10, as face masks become mandatory in "most public indoor venues", including theatres and cinemas.

There are exceptions "where it's not practical, including while eating, drinking, exercising or singing".

The extension of face mask rules follow the reintroduction of enforced wearing of face coverings in shops and shopping centres, transport hubs and on public transport that came in last month.

Working from home

The guidance to work from home for everyone who can begins from Monday, December 13.

The Prime Minister said: "Employers should use the rest of the week to discuss working arrangements with their employees but from Monday you should work from home if you can.

"I know this will be hard for many people but by reducing your contacts in the workplace, you will help slow transmission."

NHS Covid passes

The NHS Covid Pass, which can be obtained by having two vaccines or a negative lateral flow test, will be needed to enter various venues from next Wednesday, December 15.

The pass will be needed to enter nightclubs, unseated indoor venues with more than 500 people, unseated outdoor venues with more than 4,000 people, and any venue with more than 10,000 people.

This includes sporting venues and nightclubs.

The passes can be downloaded from the NHS app and saved onto mobile phones or saved as a PDF and printed off. They last for 30 days.

Why has Plan B been introduced?

The Prime Minister warned it is clear the new strain is “growing much faster” than Delta, and cases of Omicron could be doubling every two or three days as he strengthened England’s rules during the Downing Street press conference on Wednesday.

Mr Johnson added: “The best way to ensure we all have a Christmas as close to normal as possible is to get on with Plan B, irritating though it may be it is not a lockdown.

“We don’t want nativity plays to be cancelled, we think it’s OK currently on what we can see to keep going with Christmas parties but obviously everybody should exercise due caution.”

Health Secretary Sajid Javid told the Commons Plan B would be reviewed on January 5, before an expiry date on January 26.