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COVID-19 Information and Global Service Updates Update: 8th December 2021 13.49 GMT

UPDATED: 9th December 07.35 GMT

Last night the UK Prime Minister announced that England will be entering "Plan B" in it's attempts to control the spread of the new variant, Omicron. Plan B measures set out that:

  • From Friday, face coverings will be required inside theatres and cinemas.

  • From Monday, people will be asked to work from home where possible.

  • From Wednesday, the NHS COVID Pass will be required for entry to nightclubs, indoor unseated venues with more than 500 people, unseated outdoor venues with more than 4,000 people and any event with upwards of 10,000 capacity.

However, Mr Johnson insisted that Christmas parties and children's nativity plays can continue if all rules are followed.

As of Tuesday 7th December, all people aged 12 and over entering the UK must show proof of a negative Covid test, either a PCR or lateral flow, which is to be taken no more than 48 hours before they travel.

Nigeria has been added to the UK red list, meaning a 10-day managed quarantine period is required on entry. The list now comprises Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

France is set to close nightclubs ahead of Christmas and tighten social distancing measures in response to the Omicron variant. People are also recommended to work from home two to three times per week "where possible", while schools will have to impose mandatory mask-wearing in some instances.

Italy has introduced tougher restrictions for unvaccinated people amid concern over the Omicron variant and a potential spike in infections. Many public activities will be off limits to anyone without a so-called Covid Super Green Pass from Monday, showing proof of vaccination, or recovery from the virus within the last six months. It will be needed to enter theatres, cinemas, music venues, sports events, restaurants, and bars until at least mid-January.

Unvaccinated people will remain in lockdown when Austria's general lockdown lifts on Sunday.

In the US, all New Yorkers will need to be vaccinated if they want to go to work, the city's mayor has announced. Public sector employers already must be inoculated, but the mandate will now be extended to all private sector employees. The policy will take effect on 27th December.

Irish nightclubs are to shut again, and the hospitality sector faces tighter rules over Christmas as the government tries to curb the spread of Covid-19. The Irish government announced several new restrictions last Friday night. Indoor events such as concerts and sports fixtures must operate at 50% capacity and private home visits must involve no more than four households. The latest rules will be in place until 9th January.

The Norwegian government introduced stricter rules on Tuesday, including a cap on the number of visitors in private homes and shortening the hours bars and restaurants can serve alcohol. Households should not invite more than 10 visitors, and people must keep a distance of at least one metre from anyone who is not a member of the household. The serving of alcohol must stop at midnight. The measures will be imposed for an initial four weeks. Schools are exempt from the distance rules but must prepare to introduce them if required.

Germany's national and regional leaders have agreed to bar unvaccinated people from much of public life in a bid to fend off a fourth wave of Covid-19. Only those who have been vaccinated or recently recovered from Covid will be allowed in restaurants, cinemas, leisure facilities, and many shops. It was also announced that vaccinations could be made mandatory by February.

Face masks are now mandatory in shops, banks, petrol stations and on public transport in Guernsey for those over 12-years-old.

Slovakia expected to extend lockdown until 16th December. Schools and many workplaces will remain open, but non-essential travel between districts is banned, along with most public gatherings and events, while most non-essential shops are closed.

Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson has announced the country will introduce COVID restrictions as cases increasingly spread. The measures will include wearing masks on public transport and urging renewed social distancing.

Poland's health minister announced that the country will introduce compulsory COVID-19 vaccinations for doctors, teachers, and security service personnel from 1st March.

For further details of entry restrictions by country, please visit:

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