MORE Covid rules have been scrapped in England today (Thursday), but one Herefordshire councillor has said the timing is "unfortunate".

In England, Plan B measures are being dropped with people no longer needing to wear face masks in shops and other public places.

Covid passes will also be scrapped for nightclubs and large events, and the guidance from work from home has also been dropped.

Face masks have already been scrapped in school classrooms, and from tomorrow they also won't be needed in communal areas.

A spokesman for the Prime Minister said “children have been one of the hardest hit as a result of the disruption throughout the pandemic”, adding that Mr Johnson “believes it is vital that children are receiving face-to-face education and can enjoy a normal experience in the classroom”.


But in Herefordshire, Leominster South councillor Trish Marsh said it was "unfortunate timing" as the council was "just starting to see the rise of cases in our schools".

"We continue to encourage everyone to wear masks to help limit the spread of Omicron," the Green Party councillor said.

"All council meetings are being held in-person using Covid-secure measures and will be live streamed to make them as accessible as possible. Officers may choose to join meetings in person or virtually.

"For the time being, we’re asking staff to continue working from home, unless their role requires them to work from a fixed location."

Coun Marsh's comments come as an email from Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi said in an email to MPs that he would personally vet any plans to bring back masks in classrooms, which unions have condemned as an example of Whitehall seeking to “micromanage” schools.

In a letter to MPs sent on Thursday, Mr Zahawi said he has agreed with directors of public health that in the event of “extraordinary” local Covid spikes, they will consult with him before recommending the reintroduction of face masks in schools in England, “so that we can assess evidence and data to ensure any extra measures are proportionate”.

Unions have said the intervention from the Education Secretary is “utterly unnecessary, if not bizarre”.

Elsewhere, Hereford Multiple Sclerosis Therapy Centre, in Mostyn Street, said it would be asking people to carry on wearing masks.


"We understand that things are moving forward with the pandemic and rules are gradually to be relaxed, but with the winter season still with us and Covid-19 very much still present we want to keep the centre as safe as possible," it said.

"This will be reviewed on a regular basis and when we feel the time is right and it is safe to do so we will update you."

In Church Street, Escape Salon hairdressers said the rules being relaxed was "very exciting and great progress to getting back to normality", but it was "very aware" that Covid is still around.

It said staff would still be wearing masks and sanitising equipment after each customers, and there would still be the option to have clients socially distanced.

In the seven days to January 20, the latest data available on the Government website, 1,858 people in Herefordshire tested positive for coronavirus.

That was 332 more cases than were reported the week before.

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