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Starting next week, face masks will be mandatory in shops and public transport, and strong measures will be introduced for anyone coming to the UK.

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Face mask rules will be ‘strengthened’ and new measures have been announced for those entering the country to prevent the spread of the Omicron Covid-19 strain.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said at a press conference that evening that everyone entering the UK must undergo a PCR test by the second day of arrival and must self-isolate until negative results.

In addition, patients suspected of having Omicron’s COVID-19 variant and all contacts who tested positive are required to self-isolate for 10 days, regardless of whether they have been vaccinated or not.

Also read: Omicron: Everything Known as New Coronavirus Variant Found in UK

This comes after the first cases of the Omicron mutation were identified in the UK.

The prime minister warned on Tuesday that the new strain first discovered in southern Africa could spread ‘very fast’ and become more resistant to vaccination.

Prime Minister Johnson has also promised to ‘strengthen’ rules about face coverings in shops and public transport.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson (Image: Hollie Adams/Getty Images)

He later said that people had to wear it ‘must’ in retail stores and on public transport, but Health Minister Sajid Javid said he would give more details ‘the next day or so’.

Downing Street later confirmed that the measure would take effect next week.

A statement released after the Prime Minister’s press conference said face coverings would become compulsory in shops and public transport starting next week.

All hospitality settings are waived.

When asked if the new transformation will affect people’s Christmas plans, the prime minister said, “I am absolutely certain that this Christmas will be much better than last Christmas.”

Earlier, Health Minister Sajid Javid announced Sunday 28 November that entry into the UK will be denied to non-British and Irish residents who have been in Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Angola in the last 10 days, starting at 4am on Sunday 28 November.

They join the six countries added to the list on Thursday night: South Africa, Botswana, Lesosto, Eswatini, Zimbabwe and Namibia.

The UK Health and Safety Agency (UKHSA) confirmed today two confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the UK with a mutation consistent with strain B.1.1.529 (known as the Omicron strain).

The government said it has ordered retesting and self-quarantine of patients and all family members who have tested positive while further testing and contact tracing are underway.

Prime Minister has promised to ‘strengthen’ rules on face coverings in shops and public transport (Image: PA)

Sajid Javid said individuals and families are self-isolating after one case was found in Brentwood, Essex and two cases in Nottingham.

The case was originally reported to have been found at Chelmsford, but was later corrected by the Essex County Council.

UKHSA is performing targeted testing at locations where positive cases may have been infected.

“The measures we are taking today, including borders and masks, are temporary and preventative,” the prime minister said in a speech to the public on number 10.

“We will review them in three weeks. At that point we will have much more information about the lasting effectiveness of the vaccine.

“I will find that we will continue to be in a strong position and we can lift these measures again, but for now we are slowing the sowing and spreading of this new strain and defending the interests we have worked so hard to protect and continue to save lives. .”

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