UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson set out new measures after two cases of the Omicron variant were found in the UK. (Photo: BBC)
LONDON: Face coverings will become mandatory again in shops and on public transport in England from next week under a raft of measures to target the new Covid variant, Omicron, BBC has reported.
PCR tests for entering the UK will be introduced and all contacts of new variant cases will have to self-isolate, even if fully jabbed, according to the report.
But UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Christmas would be “considerably better” than in 2020.
The measures were “temporary and precautionary”, he added.
The new variant was first reported from South Africa on Wednesday, with early evidence suggesting it has a higher reinfection risk, according to BBC.
“Our scientists are learning more hour by hour, and it does appear that Omicron spreads very rapidly and can be spread between people who are double vaccinated,” PM Johnson said.
The prime minister said the new measures would be reviewed in three weeks, by which time they should have better information about the “continuing effectiveness” of vaccines.
(With inputs from BBC)