Britain Back in COVID Lockdown After New COVID Variant

In reaction to the newly discovered COVID-19 strain, Prime Minister Boris Johnson reinstated mask requirements for businesses and public transportation, despite the fact the rule was only abolished in July.

The Details

The discovery of a novel coronavirus variant in Southern Africa early Wednesday prompted the United Kingdom to implement travel restrictions.

These travel restrictions apply to anyone arriving from various Southern African nations on Friday and include mandating arrivals to isolate in hostels for ten days.

On Saturday, two incidences of the Omicron variant has been discovered in the United Kingdom, specifically in Essex in the southwest and Nottingham in the center. The instances were related to recent travel from South Africa, according to Health Secretary Sajid Javid.

Javid has previously stated the Omicron variant “may be more communicable” than the prevailing delta strain and “the vaccinations we now have will be less effective” in combating it.

Around Saturday at 5 p.m., Prime Minister Boris Johnson convened an unscheduled press conference, throughout which he announced a “tightening up” of the laws on mask-wearing in stores and on public transportation.

These are rules that had been abolished in July, remaining unclear what was to be tightened up. “We will also be encouraging all of you to assist in controlling the spreading of this strain by enforcing the rules on facial coverings in businesses and on public transportation,” Johnson told the press throughout his speech.

“Would you just be a little clearer about what you’ve said regarding facial coverings,” Sky News’ Nick Martin challenged Johnson, perhaps expressing the uncertainty felt by many who heard such an ambiguous comment.

“You mentioned that you’d have to ‘tighten up’ on them. Are you announcing tonight that facial coverings will be required in all indoor spaces?”

“On face coverings, what we’re focusing on is retail and transportation, just going back to where you will have to wear them in retail environments or on public transportation.”

The UK government stated additional “targeted and measurable” steps “as a preventive measure while we learn more” about the virus such as a global testing program or self-isolation until after they receive a bad impact.

However, people will not be prevented from traveling internationally.

The Vaccine Doesn’t Matter

“Irrespective of their vaccination status, all kinds of people who test positive for Omicron will be ordered to self-isolate for ten days.

“We don’t know how successful our immunization would be against Omicron yet, but we have reasonable grounds to believe they would provide at least some form of protection,” Mr. Johnson said.

He then prompted more people to get immunizations and boosters, declaring that his government’s vaccine working group will look into the possibility of making boosters available to as many people as possible.