Published on : Monday, November 29, 2021
The face masks in shops and public transport will become mandatory from Tuesday in a bid to fight the new Covid variant, Sajid Javid has revealed.
The Health Secretary confirmed the move this morning, and warned flouters could be fined after the first two cases of the Omicron strain were reported in the UK.
It comes after Boris Johnson ordered the return of masks and for contacts of anyone infected with the variant to self-isolate.
Speaking to Trevor Philips on Sunday, Mr Javid admitted that they will never defeat Covid as the Government launched a fresh crackdown against the virus.
He has asked Government vaccine advisers the JCVI to broaden the booster programme, which is currently open to all over-40s.
When asked how mandatory mask-wearing will be enforced, Health Secretary Sajid Javid said: that they do think people will take this more seriously.
Masks have remained compulsory on London’s Tube system, but Transport for London figures show only 108 people out of the millions who travel on the Tube have been removed for not wearing face coverings.
But Mr Javid insisted said that over the last few days, and of course this has been very fast moving, people will have been able to understand the concerns over this new variant.
They will be concerned not just for themselves but for their friends and family and want to know their Government is taking proportionate action.So I think that will encourage people anyway to listen and think about some of the new measures and take them seriously.
He added that he hoped this is something we can remove within weeks.
Andrew Marr Show, Mr Javid confirmed that people who refuse to wear masks will be hit with new sanctions.
MPs will vote on the new restrictions within 28 days after legislation is placed before the Commons tomorrow. Mr Javid told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show there had been no more confirmed cases in the UK, but admitted there may well be more.
Targeted testing was being carried out in Essex and Nottingham where the two infected people are located.
Boris Johnson announced the added restrictions yesterday after the two cases of the dreaded super-spreading strain were reported.
The two cases – which are currently isolating – are said to be linked to travel in South Africa.
But Mr Johnson said tighter border controls would only go so far to quell the variant’s spread in Britain, adding “proportionate and targeted measures” were now needed.
He told a Downing Street news briefing that they need to slow down the spread of this variant here in the UK.