Covid-19: UK announces new measures after Omicron variant detected

Masks will be mandatory in shops and on public transports in Britain, as well as PCR tests for new arrivals.

From next week, wearing of masks in shops and on public transport will become mandatory across England. These are part of measures announced by the UK government to contain the spread of the newly identified variant of the coronavirus, which has been dejected in the UK.

Temporary and Precautionary Measures

The Prime Minister also announced a compulsory PCR tests for everyone entering the UK, with all contacts of the new variant cases having to self-isolate until test results come out negative. This rule will apply to all travellers, including those who are fully jabbed. The PM said:

We need to slow down the spread of this variant here in the UK, because measures at the border can only ever minimize and delay the arrival of a new variant, rather than stop it all together.

Boris Johnson added that the ‘temporary and precautionary’ measures are to mitigate the spread of the Omicron variant that was first identified in South Africa.

Two Omicron cases have been detected in Essex and Nottingham, with officials believing they were linked and connected to travel in southern Africa.

Our scientists are learning more hour by hour, and it does appear that Omicron spreads very rapidly and can be spread between people who are double vaccinated.

‘Considerably Better’ Christmas

Ten southern African countries - South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho, Eswatini, Angola, Mozambique, Malawi and Zambia - are now on the UK's travel red list. This means from today, Sunday at 04:00 GMT, all arrivals had to quarantine in a hotel for 10 days.

Mr. Johnson added that these new measures will be reviewed after three weeks, with a reassurance that the upcoming festive season will be ‘considerably better’ than last year’s.

We continue to be in a strong position largely thanks to the speed of the vaccine rollout, another booster rollout, and... I'm pretty confident to absolutely confident this Christmas will be considerably better than last Christmas.
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