As of next January 27, the “Plan B” restrictions across England will be no more. This means working from home is no longer encouraged, vaccine passes in large venues aren’t mandatory, and masks are not compulsory on crowded spaces, such as shops and public transport.
But, that last point is not going to be the case for London transport, with Mayor Sadiq Khan following up on Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s announcement with his own, clarifying that masks would be obligatory for London travel.
After the announcement, he also voiced his support the easing of restrictions in general as they should act as a boost to London’s economy recovery post-pandemic.
Speaking for a press release, Mayor Sadiq Khan said: “The easing of Covid-19 restrictions in London and across our country is great news for our city’s economic recovery. London is the heartbeat of our nation’s economy and too many businesses had their future hanging in the balance coming into the new year due to inadequate government support.
“It’s been made possible by the fantastic efforts of everyone in our city, including our amazing NHS staff who have worked around the clock to administer the lifesaving Covid-19 vaccine. Everyone who wore a mask, took a lateral flow test or followed the advice to work from home where possible, has helped our city turn the corner.”
For Londoners, the move to keep masks shouldn’t come as a huge surprise, as this policy was kept in London after “freedom day” in July 2021, when the rules also relaxed to allow mask wearing to be scrapped on transport. Following the emergence of the Omicron variant, masks were reintroduced for the whole country.
“But sadly this is not the end of our fight against the virus,” he continued. “Covid-19 still poses a significant threat to all of us, our livelihoods and our loved ones. Wearing a face covering is one of the single most important and easiest things we can all do to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and the Government should rethink their plans and keep legislation in place to make them mandatory on public transport as well as in shops and indoor public venues.
“This ensures the rules are clear and consistent and crucially means enforcement action can continue to be carried out on our transport network. Compliance of the rules is far higher with legislation than without.”
Sadiq Khan urged Londoners to continue testing and not become following the recent announcement. You can read the mayor’s full statement here.