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Pubs won't have to check the Covid-19 vaccine status of their customers until 'immediately before 1am' in a policy that is being ridiculed online.
Government guidance laying out the new rules amid the Omicron variant sets out the discretion that landlords and staff have in the coming weeks.
It states that a venue may choose to either 'check all visitors for the entire it is open, both before and after 1am' or 'check all visitors who remain in the venue immediately before 1am, and begin to use door checks on new entrants from this time onwards'.
The news comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson yesterday confirmed that one person has died with the new variant in the UK, though it is not clear what actually killed him.
Johnson said: “Sadly yes Omicron is producing hospitalisations and sadly at least one patient has been confirmed to have died with Omicron.
“So I think the idea that this is somehow a milder version of the virus, I think that’s something we need to set on one side and just recognise the sheer pace at which it accelerates through the population.
“So the best thing we can do is all get our boosters.”
Leader of the Labour opposition Sir Keir Starmer last night backed the Government's plans for a massive push to get booster shots of the vaccines.
But this morning people were left scratching their heads at the restrictions being brought in for the nighttime economy.
Twitter user Liz Hetherington said of the 1am rule: 'Good to know Covid has a good sense of time. 12.59 it stays dormant. 1am it springs into action.'
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Another mocked the recent revelation that singing in an indoor venue means that you don't have to wear a mask, despite the mouth being a key spreader of the virus.
Darren Jones joked: 'If you're singing at 1:05am then you're exempt. Another said simply: 'It's all becoming a bit silly now isn't it?'
It comes just days after questions emerged about an alleged Christmas party yards from Boris' office at Number 10.
Press officer Allegra Stratton resigned as she cried in the street following leaked footage in which she laughed while being asked about how she'd cover up a party said to have taken place when indoor gatherings were banned.
Boris is facing massive rebellions from his party over further restrictions, with his predecessor Theresa May telling him that the economy can't shut down every time a new variant emerges.
The Omicron variant is thought to be more transmissible than previous strains, but it is also believed to result in milder symptoms and fewer hospitalisations.
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