'Extremely good news' - Hartlepool figures give their reaction to the end to Plan B restrictions

The ditching of Plan B Covid restrictions by the Government has been broadly welcomed by figures in Hartlepool.

Wednesday, 19th January 2022, 5:01 pm
Updated Wednesday, 19th January 2022, 5:19 pm

Under-fire Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced in Parliament on Wednesday an immediate end to the requirement for people to work from home.

And face coverings will no longer be compulsory from Thursday, January 27, including in classrooms.

Mandatory Covid passes needed to get into certain large venues will also be dropped from the same date.

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Mr Johnson said it was because more than 90% of over-60s have now had booster vaccines and because scientists believed the Omicron wave has peaked.

Hartlepool MP Jill Mortimer welcomed the announcement, but urged people to still get booster jabs.

She said on Facebook: “This is very welcome news but please remember that we still need to protect the most vulnerable in our communities and the best way to do this is to get the booster jab.”

Chairman of Hartlepool Licencees Association, Darab Rezai, said the end of compulsory home working is good for the hospitality sector.

Chairman of Hartlepool Licencees Association Darab Rezai in The Harbour View on Hartlepool marina.

He said: "From a hospitality point of view it’s extremely good news.

“When the Government was encouraging and advising everybody to work from home it had a negative impact on hospitality.

"If people don’t go to offices you’re not getting people going for that cup of tea and sandwiches.

"The coffee shops, restaurants, bistros and bars had started suffering because of that.”

Hartlepool MP Jill Mortimer.

Mr Rezai said despite the removal of Plan B measures that hospitality businesses would continue to do their bit to prevent the spread of Covid including providing hand sanitiser and having good ventilation.

The legal requirement for people with coronavirus to self-isolate is also set to be dropped soon as Boris Johnson looks to start treating Covid-19 more like flu.

Self-isolation has had a big impact on workplace absences including in the NHS.

But Mr Rezai urged caution due to the still relatively high case numbers of the virus in the community.

High Tunstall College of Science is also strongly advising students to continue to wear face coverings in communal areas and said they can still wear them in class if they wish.

Walk-in vaccination clinics are to be held on Saturday, January 22, at Mill House Leisure Centre from 10am-3pm and on Sunday, January 23 at Hartlepool Town Hall Theatre at 8.30am-1.30pm.

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