COVID Update 20 January 2022

COVID Update - 20 January 2022

Plan A rules

As the situation slowly improves, the government has announced that the measures put in place under Plan B in England will be lifted as the nation moves to "Plan A".

The announced changes are:

  • People no longer need to work from home and should talk to their employers to agree arrangements to return to the office.
  • From 20 January: Face coverings will no longer be advised for staff and pupils in secondary school and college classrooms.
  • From 27 January: Face coverings will no longer be advised for staff and pupils in communal areas of secondary schools, nor for staff in communal areas of primaries. Directors of Public Health will only be able to recommend pupils and staff wear masks in communal areas in places where there are outbreaks or where the local public health situation justifies it, and with sign-off from the Education Secretary.
  • From 27 January: There is no longer a legal requirement to wear a face covering. The government suggests that you continue to wear a face covering in crowded and enclosed spaces where you may come into contact with other people you do not normally meet.
  • From 27 January: Venues and events will no longer be required by law to check visitors' NHS COVID Pass. The NHS COVID Pass can still be used on a voluntary basis.

For the latest information on COVID-19 guidance and how to stay safe, visit

What are the latest rules on testing and isolation?

Self-isolation rules in England are as follows:

  • If you develop COVID-19 symptoms, self-isolate immediately and get a PCR test, even if your symptoms are mild.
  • You should self-isolate at home while you get a PCR test and wait for the results.
  • You must self-isolate from the day your symptoms started, or from the day you receive a positive test result if you do not have any symptoms.
  • You can end your self-isolation on the sixth day of self-isolation following 5 full days isolating and 2 negative rapid lateral flow test tests taken on consecutive days.
  • The first rapid lateral flow test should not be taken before the fifth day. The self-isolation period remains 10 full days for those without negative results from 2 rapid lateral flow tests taken a day apart. This is the law, regardless of whether you have been vaccinated.

Find out when to self-isolate and what to do on the NHS website.

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