It has been announced that due to the new variant of the Covid-19 virus, Omicron, masks will be once again made compulsory in certain indoor settings.

 An example of one of these newly instated rules is from the Department of Education, who has stated that it will be compulsory for pupils in secondary schools across the United Kingdom to wear masks in communal settings. This rule will also be enforced for staff and students at university. Likewise, compulsory mask wearing will also be reintroduced to anyone using public transport or going into indoor shops, banks, post offices, hairdressers or nail salons. Those who refuse to wear a mask on public transport could risk facing a fine of £200. The new rules come into place as of tomorrow- Tuesday the 30th of November. There is no definitive date as to when the rules will no longer be enforced as of yet, although presumably it will be until the experts deem Covid rates low enough for it to be safe to go about daily life without a mask.  

Whilst these new restrictions may feel like a frustrating step backwards, they have been put in place to ensure everyone’s safety and it is incredibly important to follow these rules in order to stop spreading the virus and to reduce the rates of transmission, which were increasing even before the Omicron variant was first identified. The Omicron variant was first discovered in South Africa and promptly reported to the World Health Organisation. Other cases have since been reported in countries across Europe such as Germany, Belgium, Italy and the UK.