United Kingdom

England urgently puts on mandatory masks amid fears of Omicron spread

16:59, 30 November 2021
England urgently puts on mandatory masks amid fears of Omicron spread Photo: pixabay.com

England expanded its program aimed at tackling the coronavirus amid the recent reports of the new strain dubbed Omicron detected in South Africa roughly a week ago. 

Thus face coverings along with other measures became mandatory starting Tuesday as the Prime Minister Boris Johnson had said before, informing the citizens that the measures against the pandemic would be inevitable.

The citizens of the UK are not allowed to visit malls, bank offices, hairdressing salons and travel on transport without masks covering their faces.

“The measures taking effect today are proportionate and responsible, and will buy us time in the face of this new variant,” Johnson said.

Despite banning the travels from 10 South Africa’s countries the government also added restrictions for all the international travelers obliging them to take PCR test, deadlined by the evening of the second day upon arrival and enter the self-isolation phase until the results are received. 

The Prime Minister also called upon the nation to keep vaccinating against COVID-19, calling the vaccines “our best line of defence.”

The UK reported 11 cases of the new strain in the country to date and the government tends not to think that the number will stop from growing. The restrictions are also tied with the concerns whether the modern vaccines are effective against the mutated virus, so the government said there is more time needed to clarify how transmissible and dangerous Omicron is.

The restrictions will help to suppress the spread of the new variant until the effective actions on how to withstand the virus are not taken.

Earlier, CEO of Moderna Stephane Bancel sowed fears saying that its vaccines are not that much effective against the specific strain, which evolved in South Africa and have been already brought to Europe.

As of now, several countries, including Germany, Italy, Australia, the UK, Hong Kong and Israel have already registered Omicron within its borders.

Israel along with Japan have completely closed their borders from any of the international entries, therefore both countries welcome only its residents so far. The immediate border shutdown is expected to last for about two weeks.

Back in July, the government had a positive view on the developing situation with the virus looking at the data related to the pandemic  and seemed to find the right way in tackling COVID-19 saying that wearing a mask would be a personal choice for citizens.