Right. Specifics re Plan B have been bouncing round all day and still being finalised but here are some bits about where we are....
1/ A carve out on face masks is expected for hospitality sector, per two Gov sources. That's what went into system this morning. If so then no masks forced in pubs and restaurants.
2/ Has been debate all day about face masks coming back in classrooms but sounds like it WON'T happen. Again being finalised currently but one to watch
3/ Work from home guidance had been expected to kick in from as early as tomorrow but that date has shifted back to Monday, per two Gov sources. Again, being finalised before 6pm.
4/ Another discussion point today has been whether vaccine passports can include a negative test instead of proof of jab. Plan B said it was only jabs BUT could now be negative test as well. Watch this space.
5/ Pingdemic change is expected. Well-placed source says those notified by contact tracing can take daily tests and only isolate if they get a positive. Unclear if only Omicron or wider. Again, let's see what's confirmed.
6/ Could there be changes to the exact venues that have to do vaccine passports? The capacity numbers were set out in previously published PlanB but could move. Have been discussed throughout the day.
7/ Vaccine passports NOT expected to be needed in pubs + restaurants. Hospitality carve out, per a Gov source. In line with existing PlanB. Let’s see - details to be announced imminently.
8/ All of the bigger stuff - return of social distancing rules, proper lockdown, limits on group meetings - were not the policies being mainly discussed today, per many sources. So wouldn’t expected that coming in. Let’s see.

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More from @benrileysmith

8 Dec
Breaking: Covid-O meeting due today. Work from home and vaccine passports to be discussed. Go-ahead could be announced as early as today. Massive move if so.
Key cabinet ministers on Covid policy in Stephen Barclay understood to have attended the usual No10 morning meeting on Covid. (Sounds like that rather than a formal Quad meeting this AM).
A press conference today is being discussed among officials, with some predicting one will happen. PM was expected to make one this week at some point on Covid generally (initially due to be a focus on boosters)
Read 4 tweets
7 Dec
EXC: Cabinet discussed bringing in vaccine passports today.

Michael Gove and Nadine Dorries spoke in favour, per multiple sources.

Shows it’s being seriously considered to counter Omicron. telegraph.co.uk/politics/2021/…
Here’s our understanding of who said what on vaccine passports at today’s Cabinet meeting.

Dorries esp interesting - her sectors would be doing a lot of the checks if implemented (music venues, sports stadiums etc).
Officials are now working up plans for vaccine passports for ministers to consider next week.

That’s when a review of the rules will be taken before Christmas, with more hopefully known on Omicron by then.
Read 6 tweets
4 Nov

"I have today, after consultation with my family, and with much sadness decided to resign as the MP for North Shropshire. The last two years have been an indescribable nightmare for my family and me. My integrity, which I hold very dear... 1/8
"... has been repeatedly and publicly questioned. I maintain that I am totally innocent of what I have been accused of and I acted at all times in the interests of public health and safety. I, my family and those closest to me know the same... 2/8
"...I am unable to clear my name under the current system. Far, far worse than having my honesty questioned was, of course, the suicide of my beloved and wonderful wife, Rose. She was everything to my children and me. We miss her everyday and... 3/8
Read 8 tweets
25 Oct
NEW: @Telegraph has seen a copy of the Government’s private impact assessment for vaccine passports.

The £££ hit on turnover… the problems outside stadiums… the fears it will drive people to Covid-risky pubs… the ??? over delivery…Quick thread👇 telegraph.co.uk/politics/2021/…
The doc is 13 pages long and was written by DCMS. Was produced early September and is marked “official sensitive”.

It analysed the economic and social impacts of mandatory vaccine-only certification (ie vaccine passports).
The Government’s vaccine passport impact assessment gave a “mid” estimate for how much turnover would drop for venues impacted.

1 month = £345m drop in turnover (2.2% below 2019 levels)

3 months = £1034m drop (6.6% below 2019)

6 months = £2067m drop (13.2% below 2019)
Read 17 tweets
7 Oct
Lots of chatter about an early election on the fringes of Tory conference.

Here are four arguments for why it won’t happen, being posited by Boris’s inner circle…
1/ A big factor in how the Tories do at the next election is whether the Red Wall voters see (or feel) tangible proof that ‘levelling up’ is happening.

The more time you have, the more likely that can be seen. New roads, hospitals, cops, nurses, railways etc that were promised.
2/ Things are going to get rocky.

NHS waiting lists will rise, even with the new money. Courts backlog will drag on. Fuel bills soaring. Inflation creeping up, eating into wages. Plus an end to unusual pandemic politics.

2022 will be tough. 2024 vote = more time for recovery.
Read 5 tweets
2 Sep
Telegraph tomorrow publishes a load of intel on PM’s social care reforms.

Expected next week... breaks manifesto pledge by raising tax on c.25m... in order to cap lifetime care costs (at higher than expected)... No10-No11 at loggerheads on exact tax rise... Big political gamble.
To unpack some of our reporting tomorrow, a few tweets...
TIMINGS: Widely expected to drop next week. One source said pencilled in for Tuesday cabinet briefing then announcement. Makes sense to go early as rest of the spending review revolves around fixing this package.
Read 12 tweets

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