COVID-19: What coronavirus rules come into effect in England today?

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COVID-19: What coronavirus rules come into effect in England today?


Today, new measures designed to deal with the emergence of the new COVID-19 variant Omicron entered into force in England.

They were announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson over the weekend over fears that the new variant would be less responsive to vaccines and more infectious.

Wearing a mask in England is now mandatory in shops, public transport, hairdressers, post offices and banks, unless you are exempt.

The rule does not apply to pubs, restaurants and any other reception area.

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Health Minister Edward Argar has said Omicron cases will increase across the UK as Christmas approaches.

On Monday, the government was asked why it had not decided to make masks mandatory in pubs and restaurants.

A spokesperson said: “We believe this is a measured and proportionate approach based on the evidence we have so far.

“It seems likely but not certain that this variant is more transmissible than the previous variants, but we have no hard evidence and indeed no one has hard evidence of its impact on things like hospitalizations, deaths and injuries. vaccinated people.

“So we believe this is the proportionate approach to take under the current circumstances. “

Those who break the rules face a fine of £ 200.

The Education Department also advised that college students and staff in common areas wear face coverings, while high schools are encouraged to wear face coverings.

Mandatory PCR testing is back for those arriving in the UK from overseas and travelers will need to take a day 2 test and self-isolate until they test negative.

Only British and Irish citizens will be allowed to enter the UK from the new Southern African Red List countries.

RED LIST COUNTRIES

  • Botswana
  • Eswatini
  • Lesotho
  • Namibia
  • South Africa
  • Zimbabwe
  • Angola
  • Malawi
  • Mozambique
  • Zambia

They will need to show a negative test carried out within three days of departure and then spend 10 days in a government approved quarantine hotel, at a cost of over £ 2,000, after landing.

There is no mandate on working from home, with a Downing Street spokesperson confirming that it is “for employers” to make their own decisions.

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Anyone over 18 will be able to reserve a COVID-19 booster vaccine, following the government-backed expansion of the jab program to deal with the potential impact of the Omicron variant.

Starting at 4 a.m. on November 28, anyone identified as having close contact with someone with the Omicron variant will be required to self-isolate for 10 days, regardless of their vaccination status.

The government says it will review the rules in three weeks.

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