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Cinema-goers are among those most keenly scratching their heads as Boris Johnson's new Plan B Covid restrictions were revealed this evening at a Number 10 press conference, with cinemas and theatres among those mentioned specifically.
According to the new raft of rules drawn up in light of the spread of the new Omicron variant of Covid, face masks are to be made mandatory in 'most indoor settings' including theatres and cinemas from Friday 10 December.
This means that next week's much-hyped release of upcoming Hollywood blockbuster Spider-Man: No Way Home could suffer from something of a drop-off in turnout on its release date on 15 December.
The latest in the franchise is already set to be a box office smash after breaking the UK record for advance ticket sales.
Odeon, the biggest operator in the UK and Ireland with more than 120 cinemas, said it had sold many more than 200,000 tickets for the film in the first seven days since tickets were released.
However, those who attend the screenings will now need to wear mandatory masks for the duration of the film unless medically exempt.
Other restrictions unveiled as part of Plan B will see the return of working from home 'if you can' from Monday 13 December.
The Prime Minister also said vaccine passports are being introduced in "certain settings", meaning the NHS Covid pass will be mandatory in England where large crowds gather, starting at indoors venues from 500 capacity upwards and including all venues of 4000 people and upwards.
From 10 December in England, you must wear a face covering in most public indoor venues, other than hospitality venues.- UK Prime Minister (@10DowningStreet) December 8, 2021
There will be exemptions in venues where it is not practical to wear one, such as when you are eating, drinking or exercising.
:arrow_right: https://t.co/AJ1DZmrux2 pic.twitter.com/pn06wiBNpl
The decision to announce these restrictions this evening was taken after the Prime Minister met with his Cabinet today (8 December), with many critical of the timing given that senior government staff members are under intense scrutiny about an alleged Christmas party that took place at Downing Street on December 18 last year.
The new restrictions are aimed at slowing the spread of the new virus variant whilst the vaccine booster jab campaign is stepped up.
It's still largely unknown whether or not the variant is found to cause more serious disease, but with Omicron cases currently doubling, it's clear the NHS may well need some protection.
The issue now, however, is about whether the British public will comply with the restrictions after the emergence of the video showing members of Johnson's senior staff joking about the alleged party - a leak that ultimately saw advisor Allegra Stratton resign for her part in it.
A snap poll indicated that over 50 percent of the public felt that Johnson himself should resign over the incident, according to The Independent.