Face masks in shops mandatory from Tuesday amid Omicron fears

Temporary and precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the new Covid-19 Omicron variant in the UK will come into force on Tuesday, the government has confirmed.

Monday, 29th November 2021, 9:31 am
Updated Monday, 29th November 2021, 9:32 am
In an announcement on Saturday evening, prime minister Boris Johnson said wearing face masks will become mandatory in all shops, and on public transport, in England.

In an announcement on Saturday evening, prime minister Boris Johnson said wearing face masks will become mandatory in all shops, and on public transport, in England.

Boris Johnson confirmed the move in a press conference called after two cases of the Omicron variant of coronavirus were detected in the UK.

From 4am tomorrow (Tuesday, November 30) face coverings will be compulsory in shops and other settings such as banks, post offices and hairdressers, as well as on public transport unless individuals are exempt from doing so.

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Also, all travellers arriving into the country from 4am on Tuesday will be required to take a PCR test on or before day two and self isolate until they have received a negative test result.

These PCR tests can be purchased from private providers. Free NHS tests are not valid for this purpose.

Under the UK presidency an urgent meeting of G7 health ministers will also be convened today, Monday, to discuss the developments on Omicron.

This update adds to the measures rapidly implemented earlier this week to prevent the spread of the new variant including travel restrictions and meaning all close contacts of anyone who has tested positive for the Omicron variant are required to isolate for 10 days regardless of whether they have been vaccinated.