VACCINE passports and working from home are being introduced following the announcement of ‘Plan B’ last night.

Talking at 6pm yesterday evening, PM Boris Johnson announced home working from Monday, increased use of face masks, and the introduction of Covid passports from Friday,

One Southampton MP has spoken out about how he “never supported” vaccine passports, but does support business owners to manage their establishments “as they wish”.

Speaking from Downing Street, he advised “all those who can” to work from home.

He added that, from Friday, face masks will be extended from just shops to be worn in other venues, such as cinemas.

And the NHS Covid pass is to be made mandatory in England in a week’s time for nightclubs and venues where large crowds gather.

Boris Johnson told a Downing Street press conference: “It has become increasingly clear that Omicron is growing much faster than the previous Delta variant and is spreading rapidly all around the world.”

“While 568 cases had been confirmed in the UK “the true number is certain to be much higher”.

“Most worryingly, there is evidence that the doubling time of Omicron could currently be between two and three days.”

Southampton Itchen MP Royston Smith told the Daily Echo: “Omicron is doubling at a far quicker rate than previous variants of the Coronavirus.

“We need to be cautious and advice to work from home, if you can, and where masks in more settings is not unreasonable.

“As for covid passports, I have never supported them and still don’t but I do support individual premise owners right to manage their establishments as they wish.”

Speaking to the Daily Echo, Southampton Test MP Alan Whitehead said: “’I know that people will be disappointed at the introduction of these further restrictions and I know that many are particularly angry with the Prime Minister after hearing about the Downing Street party.

“However I would urge people to follow these restrictions, doing something as simple as wearing a face mask could help slow the spread of the new variant.”