Great Britain
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Boris Johnson announces new Covid Omicron variant measures

NEW restrictions have been announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson in a bid to prevent the spread of the new Omicron Covid variant. 

Facemasks will become mandatory for indoor public places and transport, he announced at a press conference on Saturday evening. 

All travellers to UK must take a PCR test and self isolate until they receive a negative result.

Meanwhile, a rule of mandatory self isolation at home for ten days for everyone in contact with a positive case will also be enforced. 

Mr Johnson added that the Omicron variant spreads “rapidly” between people, even those who have been double vaccinated, so some “precautionary” measures will be needed.

“We’re not going to stop people travelling, I want to stress that, we’re not going to stop people travelling, but we will require anyone who enters the UK to take a PCR test by the end of the second day after their arrival and to self-isolate until they have a negative result," he said. 

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

“We will require all contacts of those who test positive with a suspected case of Omicron to self-isolate for 10 days regardless of your vaccination status.

“We will also go further in asking all of you to help contain the spread of this variant by tightening up the rules on face coverings in shops and on public transport.”

A post on the official Twitter account of the Prime Minister’s office said: “COVID UPDATE: Face coverings will become compulsory on public transport and in shops. Not including hospitality.”

Mr Johnson continued: “Third, and most importantly, we need to bolster our protections against this new variant.

“We don’t yet exactly know how effective our vaccines will be against Omicron but we have good reasons for believing they will provide at least some measure of protection.

“If you’re boosted, your response is likely to be stronger so it’s more vital than ever that people get their jabs and we get those boosters into arms as fast as possible.

“From today we’re going to boost the booster campaign, we’re already planning to do six million jabs in England alone over the next three weeks and now we’re looking to go further.

“The Health Secretary has asked the JCVI (Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation) to consider giving boosters to as wide a group as possible as well as reducing the gap between your second dose and your booster.”

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