New rules on face coverings in response to new Omicron variant

The Prime Minister announced this week that new rules are to be put in place across England in response to the new Omicron variant.

From Tuesday 30th November, face coverings must be worn in shops, retail spaces, takeaways and on public transport.

If you’re travelling to England from abroad you must take a PCR test before the end of day 2 following your arrival and self-isolate until you get a negative test result, even if you’re fully vaccinated.

If you’re a contact of someone who may have been infected with the Omicron variant, you must self-isolate for 10 days, regardless of your age or vaccination status.

The events and attractions guidance has been updated with a summary of where face coverings will be mandatory within these settings and other settings within the visitor economy.

Public Guidance on Face Masks

The public guidance on when and where to wear face coverings has been updated. The places where wearing a face covering is mandatory are:

  • shops and supermarkets (places which offer goods or services for retail sale or hire)
  • shopping centres (malls and indoor markets)
  • auction houses
  • post offices, banks, building societies, high street solicitors and accountants, credit unions, short-term loan providers, savings clubs and money service businesses
  • estate and letting agents o premises providing personal care and beauty treatments (barbers, hair salons, tattoo and piercing studios, nail salons and massage centres)
  • pharmacies
  • premises providing veterinary services
  • retail galleries (as opposed to art galleries)
  • retail travel agents
  • takeaways without space for consumption of food or drink on premises
  • public transport (aeroplanes, trains, trams, buses, coaches and ferries), taxis and private hire vehicles
  • any car or small van during a professionally delivered driving lesson, a practical driving test, or during one of the practical tests for giving driving instruction, and in all HGV lessons and tests
  • transport hubs (airports, rail and tram stations and terminals, maritime ports and terminals, bus and coach stations and terminals).

More information on when to wear face coverings can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own.

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