Busy London street with shoppers wearing face masks

Government to take action in response to Omicron Covid-19 variant

The UK Government is to reintroduce mandatory face coverings in shops and on public transport, as well as measures for travellers returning to the UK, as part of proactive action against the newly-identified Omicron variant of Covid-19.

Temporary and precautionary measures will be introduced across the country, the UK Government confirmed.

Mandatory face coverings will come into effect in shops and other settings such as banks, post offices and hairdressers, alongside on public transport unless individuals are exempt.

Arrivals into the UK after 4am on Tuesday November 30, 2021, will be required to take a PCR test on or before Day 2 and self-isolate until they have received a negative test result. These PCR tests are available to be purchased from private providers.

Free NHS tests are not valid for this purpose, the UK Government has said.

Under previous rules, arrivals from most destinations into the UK were only required to carry out a lateral flow test.

Due to the structure of the new Covid-19 variant, PCR tests are expected to be able to detect and help track instances of the variant, helping support both central and local government public health teams to respond.

In order to prevent the further spread of the new Omicron variant of concern, all close contacts of anyone who has tested positive for the newly-identified variant will also be required to isolate for 10 days, regardless of their vaccination status.

Health ministers from the G7, which is currently under UK presidency, are also to convene on November 29, 2021, to discuss the developments with the variant and further measures, if required, to stem the rate of transmission of the virus variant.

Developing an integrated, sustainable transport network for Nottingham

PSE June/July 22

Developing an integrated, sustainable transport network for Nottingham

Our June/July edition of PSE we bring you expert comment and analysis on a range of public sector topics, from digital transformation to health and social care and the workforce. Learn about how important ethics are in public service, or how Brighton and Hove City Council are focusing on travel and transport as we head towards a net zero world as well as so much more…


View all videos
PSE365 Cyber Security

Be A Part Of It!

PSE365: Public Sector Cyber Security Virtual Event | 14 July 2022

PSE has created a full calendar of events to address the most important issues that influence the delivery of public sector services. 

Over 365 days you’ll have the opportunity to hear from a range of highly motivating, informative and inspirational speakers. These speakers will equip you with knowledge and unique insight to enable you to overcome the challenges that you face.

Upcoming Webinar

Webinar: Driving sustainability & value through technology end-of-life

End-of-life is often overlooked yet is equally as important to a digital strategy, but what happens to end-of-life technology? What is the impact on the environment, net zero targets? What is the financial impact, is value for money for the taxpayer simply discarded and destroyed along with the technology?

Join us on 13 September between 2:00pm-2:45pm where we look to address the lifecycle of a digital strategy with a focus on end-of-life using examples, achieving efficiency, increased sustainability and delivering cost savings.

Guest Panellists:

Adam Turner, Head of Government and Public Sector Sustainable ICT and Digital, DEFRA
Ben Levin, Senior Manager, Technology Assesment and Criteria Development, Global Electronics Council
Fredrik Forslund, Vice President, Enterprise & Cloud Erasure Solutions, Blancco
Ben Tongue, Digital Net Zero Lead, NHS England

More articles...

View all