COVID-19: Plan B guidance to be lifted in England

The UK Government has added the following text to COVID-19: guidance for the safe use of places of worship for England, announcing that the measures put in place under Plan B will be lifted (our emphasis):

  • “The government is no longer asking people to work from home if they can. People should now 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.

This guidance will be updated shortly to include more information on these changes. You should continue to follow all of the guidance on this page to keep yourself and others safe.”


At 15:30 on 20 January, the Church of England updated its Coronavirus (COVID-19) Guidance as follows:

  • Following the Health Secretary’s announcement that England will to return to Plan A from Thursday 27 January, The Bishop of London, Sarah Mullally, who leads the Church of England’s Covid Recovery Group, said:

“We note the Government’s announcement regarding the ending of Plan B measures from next week and will review our advice as soon as detailed guidance is published.”

Cite this article as: Frank Cranmer, "COVID-19: Plan B guidance to be lifted in England" in Law & Religion UK, 20 January 2022,


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