Note: Advice for pharmacies has now been clarified. See Pharmacy bodies urge patients to continue wearing masks in pharmacies

Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) advice is that face masks will no longer be required in pharmacies across England from next week (27 January) as other Plan B measures are also dropped, The Pharmacist has learned.

It has been mandatory for the public to wear face masks in pharmacies since July 2020, however, a DHSC spokesperson confirmed that this will no longer be a requirement.

This comes as Boris Johnson announced in the Commons yesterday (19 January) that he would be dropping all Plan B measures and returning England to Plan A as he believed that the Omicron wave had now peaked in the UK.

This move will mean people are no longer required to wear face masks in public places, work from home or use mandatory Covid passes for nightclubs and large events.

The legal requirement for people with Covid to self-isolate will be allowed to lapse when the regulations expire on 24 March, and that date could be brought forward.

Mr Johnson suggested he would start treating Covid-19 more like flu, telling MPs: ‘There will soon come a time when we can remove the legal requirement to self-isolate altogether, just as we don’t place legal obligations on people to isolate if they have flu.

‘As Covid becomes endemic, we will need to replace legal requirements with advice and guidance, urging people with the virus to be careful and considerate of others,’ he said.

This month, DHSC announced community pharmacies in England will be eligible to receive free personal protective equipment (PPE) from the Government until 31 March 2023.

More to follow...