Boris Johnson has announced England will go into Plan B Covid restrictions has Omicron variant cases rise.

The Prime Minister confirmed it was time to move to “Plan B” of the Government’s coronavirus strategy, with measures including a return to working from home.

He told a Downing Street press conference: “It has become increasingly clear that Omicron is growing much faster than the previous Delta variant and is spreading rapidly all around the world.”

While 568 cases had been confirmed in the UK “the true number is certain to be much higher”.

“Most worryingly, there is evidence that the doubling time of Omicron could currently be between two and three days.”

New Covid rules introduced in England

Guidance to work from home is to be reintroduced in England as part of measures to halt the spread of the Omicron variant, Boris Johnson has announced.

From this Friday, face masks will be required to most indoor venues including theatres and cinemas for wearing face masks.

The NHS Covid pass is to be made mandatory in England in a week’s time for nightclubs and venues where large crowds gather, Boris Johnson has announced.

These are 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. 

The passes will still work for people who have had just two doses of a COVID vaccine, although this will be kept under review. 

Will schools close again in England under Plan B?

The PM urged people to work from home if possible as he addressed the nation on Wednesday night.

He told a Downing Street press conference: “We will reintroduce the guidance to work from home.

“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.

“Go to work if you must but 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.”

Under new rules it is not yet confirmed exactly what the rule change will mean for schools however it has previously been reported classroom “bubbles” will be reintroduced.

Boris said he does not want students to be taken out of school before the end of term when asked about school nativities during Wednesday night's press conference.

He has recommended people take regular tests and continue to wash their hands to control the spread.

While Plan B will be used to help limit children’s interactions, it is understood it will not result in whole classes being sent home like it did last year.

According to reports earlier this year from the i, key measures used in the summer to protect schools could still be used if cases continue to rise which saw huge disruption to education.

Facemasks will reportedly be introduced in communal areas in schools.