Masks will return to England on Tuesday amid concerns over Omicron variant – .

Masks will return to England on Tuesday amid concerns over Omicron variant – .

Face masks will become mandatory from Tuesday in shops and public transport in England, Health Secretary Sajid Javid confirmed under plans to fight the new Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

But he told families they should plan Christmas “as usual”.

The cabinet minister said on Sunday that the situation was “far from” the need to reintroduce social distancing and working from home rules, despite a series of precautionary measures reintroduced to tackle the worrying tension.

Passengers arriving in the UK have been told that starting at 4 a.m. on Tuesday they will have to take a PCR test for Covid-19, in the hope that they will have to self-isolate until ‘they are negative.

All contacts with a cas suspect d’Omicron will need to self-isolate for 10 days, regardless of their vaccination status, as existing jabs will be less effective against the strain that is believed to spread quickly.

Details of the plans were incomplete on Boris Johnson’s announcement after two cases of the variant were confirmed in England on Saturday, but Mr Javid said “face mask rules are expected to come into effect on Tuesday” to bring the nation closer to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

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He said it “would be irresponsible to make any guarantees” during the ever-evolving pandemic, but told Sky’s Trevor Phillips on Sunday: “I think people should continue their plans as usual for Christmas, I think. that it’s gonna be a great Christmas. ”

With the government failing to present its plan B to fight Covid-19 this winter, Mr Javid downplayed the need to reintroduce social distancing rules or working from home.

“We now know that these types of measures come at a very heavy price, both economically, socially, in terms of non-Covid health outcomes such as the impact on mental health,” he told Sky .

“So if we were to make such decisions, they would have to be taken very, very carefully and we’re not there yet, we’re far from it. “

Mr Javid said he expects to receive further advice ‘imminently’, in the coming days, from the Joint Committee on Immunization and Immunization (JCVI) after being tasked to consider whether the boosters should be extended everyone over 18 years old.The group will also consider whether second doses should be offered to 12 to 15 year olds and whether the wait time before a vaccine booster could be reduced.“I have also asked the NHS to prepare for a much greater capacity in our vaccination program,” Mr Javid told the Andrew Marr Show on the BBC.Mr Javid said the testing regime for international arrivals would be introduced “as soon as possible”.Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have said they intend to reflect border restrictions.He admitted that passengers coming from southern Africa before 10 countries were added to the red list had not been tested upon landing and could have taken public transport home.“I think the speed at which we acted could not have been faster,” he said, adding that these arrived before the change was contacted and asked to take testing.

How did the government do enough to slow the spread of the Omicron variant? ITV News political editor Robert Peston also gives his thoughts on the normality of Christmas this year

Union MP Lisa Nandy called on the government to tighten rules on international travel, suggesting pre-departure flights may be needed and advice on returning from airports.“These are all things the government has been warned against for months,” she told Sky.At an emergency press conference in Downing Street on Saturday, the Prime Minister announced that “temporary and precautionary” measures were needed after two cases of the new variant first discovered in South Africa were detected in Nottingham and Brentwood, Essex.Individuals and their households have been forced to self-isolate and targeted testing is carried out in areas where they are said to have been infectious.

Mr Johnson said the measures would be reviewed in three weeks as he warned that Omicron appears to be spreading “very quickly”, can be transmitted between duplicate vaccines and may partially reduce the protection of existing vaccines.He has not announced his Plan B to fight Covid-19 this winter, which includes the mandatory use of vaccination certificates in some places and the reinstatement of advice on working from home.Government advisers to the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) said in a meeting on Oct. 14 that working from home is likely to have the greatest individual impact on the transmission of Plan B measures, which, according to them, would have the greatest impact if they were introduced. in unison.

To further slow the arrival of cases, ministers said Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Angola will face travel restrictions from Sunday, when they will join South Africa and five other neighboring countries on the UK’s red lists.Mr Javid told Times Radio that the new regulations are expected to be tabled in parliament on Monday, with MPs due to vote within 28 days and after they come into force.A number of backbench Tories could stage a rebellion, but Labor is unlikely to oppose the restrictions, virtually guaranteeing they will pass.The UK, Germany and Italy all confirmed the presence of Omicron on Saturday after the variant first detected in South Africa was reportedly reported in Belgium a day earlier.Experts hope existing vaccines will still be effective in reducing serious illnesses caused by Omicron, but manufacturers are considering adjustments to make them more variant specific.


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