Covid: Wearing masks and other new rules ‘will be extended to the new year’

The rules that mandate masks in certain settings are likely to be expanded (Image: Getty)

The emergency measures put in place to prevent the spread of the Omicron Covid variant will likely be extended into the new year, according to the report.

Mandatory wearing of masks in shops and public transport may remain a requirement until at least January 11 as scientists continue to study how dangerous this new strain of bacteria is. .

Ministers set a three-week deadline to review the rules when they were introduced last week.

They are currently expiring on December 21, but it is thought that this will not be enough time to gather important data on the spread and severity of Omicron.

Other restrictions, including self-isolation period for those in close contact with Omicron cases and testing requirements for travel are also likely to be maintained. Daily mail reported.

However, Boris Johnson may not make a final decision until the last minute – perhaps as late as December 18.

The government is hoping to stem the need to switch to even stricter measures, though Omicron cases increased by more than 50% yesterday.

Boris Johnson has resisted implementing his full ‘Plan B’, which involves people being asked to work from home and the widespread use of vaccine passports.

Christmas shoppers are being forced to wear masks (Image: Getty)

A Whitehall source told the Daily Mail: ‘In terms of Plan B, we’re not there yet. The ambition is that everyone can have a much more ordinary Christmas than last year.

‘That depends on what the data shows about the new variant. But there’s certainly hope that things stay the same for the next few weeks. ‘

Yesterday, a leading expert said it was ‘too late’ to stop the spread of this variant, even though pre-travel tests were made mandatory on Saturday.

The UK is now facing the suspense of whether the potentially more infectious strain is also more deadly – despite anecdotal evidence from South Africa, where it was first discovered. , have shown that Omicron can actually cause milder disease.

Mark Woolhouse, a member of the Scientific Influenza Modeling (Spi-M) Working Group advising the Government, said the measures would not make a ‘material difference’ as this variant is ‘spreads pretty quickly’.

New travel test rules are also set to stay the same (Image: AP)

He told BBC One’s Andrew Marr Show on Sunday: ‘I think it might have been a case of the stall door closing after the horse had bolted.

‘If Omicron is here in the UK, and it certainly is, if there is community transmission in the UK, and it certainly is, then that community transmission will spur a further wave. follow.

‘The cases being imported are important, we want to detect those and isolate any positive cases we find, just like we would for any case in any other country. where.

“But I think it’s too late to make a material difference to the course of the Omicron wave, if we’re going to have a difference.”

THAN : Omicron Covid cases in the UK increased by 50% in a day with 86 new cases reported

THAN : Outbreak rages on cruise ship near New Orleans as ten passengers test positive

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https://metro.co.uk/2021/12/06/covid-mask-wearing-and-other-new-rules-to-be-extended-into-the-new-year-15721377/?ITO=metro-trending Covid: Wearing masks and other new rules 'will be extended to the new year'

Huynh Nguyen

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