These are the places in Milton Keynes that will 'request' you still wear a face mask after end of Plan B rules

Plan B regulations have been scrapped from today (Thursday January 27)

By Sally Murrer
Thursday, 27th January 2022, 1:59 pm

Face coverings and Covid passes are no longer legally required in England, after the relaxation of Plan B rules came into effect on Thursday.

But Sainsbury’s and Waitrose supermarkets have said customers will continue to be asked to wear masks in all their stores across England, unless they have a medical exemption.

Wilko and John Lewis stores have said the same.

Passengers will be encouraged to wear masks on trains

Meanwhile, rail operators are still asking passengers to wear face masks when travelling on trains. But all said they would encourage, not force, customers to comply.

Public health guidance urging people to wear a face covering in crowded and enclosed spaces when coming into contact with strangers will remain, the government has said.

The Prime Minister confirmed last week that the restrictions brought in to tackle rising cases at the end of last year can now be eased owing to a decline in infections, and a belief among scientists that the Omicron wave has peaked.

Boris Johnson told MPs in the Commons: “Because of the extraordinary booster campaign, together with the way the public have responded to the Plan B measures, we can return to Plan A in England and allow Plan B regulations to expire.

Under Plan A, the government will instead offer guidance rather than mandatory rules, and will focus on the booster and vaccine rollout as the first line of defence against coronavirus.

Nightclubs and other large venues and events will no longer require a Covid pass for entry, although some may continue asking for one on a voluntary basis.

The change also means people will no longer have to show proof of their vaccination status or a recent negative test to gain entry.

Face masks are now not required by law in any setting, although guidance will still suggest that coverings should be considered in enclosed and crowded spaces.

Mr Johnson told MPs: “In the country at large we will continue to suggest the use of face coverings in enclosed or crowded spaces, particularly when you come into contact with people you don’t normally meet – but we will trust the judgment of the British people and no longer criminalise anyone who chooses not to wear one.”

Additionally, the Department for Education will remove national guidance on the use of face coverings in communal areas of schools.

Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi said masks could still be required in the event of Covid-19 outbreaks, but only if he approves a request.

Meanwhile, the legal requirement to self-isolate if you have Covid-19 is expected to expire on 24 March, meaning people should continue to quarantine if they test positive until then.

Mr Johnson has said he hopes to bring this date forward if the data allows.

From 11 February, double vaccinated travellers will no longer have to take a Covid-19 test when arriving in the UK.

The definition of fully vaccinated in the UK is currently “two doses of an approved vaccination or one dose of a Janssen vaccine”, although ministers have suggested that this could soon be changed to include a booster dose.