Mask rules set to stay in place until after ‘vigilant’ Christmas – ‘Stay as they are!’

Boris Johnson announces reintroduction of face masks

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Boris Johnson, 57, announced England would reimpose face covering rules until December 21 after the first cases of the Omicron variant were detected in the United Kingdom. The Prime Minister’s most recent set of rules, brought in on November 27, mandated masks in shops and on public transport.

Mr Johnson also introduced new restrictions on travel, including pre-departure testing and compulsory quarantine for those who come into close contact with people who have contracted the Omicron variant.

The Prime Minister is said to still be trying to reassure Britons they can enjoy their Christmas, especially after last year’s festive celebrations were derailed by COVID-19.

But Downing Street is expected to wait until December 18 to confirm whether any additional action is needed to prevent the spread of Omicron over Christmas.

Reports also indicate Mr Johnson could keep face mask rules in place as the UK enters 2022.

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A Whitehall source told MailOnline: “In terms of Plan B, we are not there yet.

“The ambition is that people can have a much more normal Christmas than last year.

“That depends on what the data shows about the new variant.

“But certainly the hope is that things stay as they are in the next couple of weeks.”

The comments come after Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab, 47, told Brits to “enjoy Christmas” but remain “vigilant”.

The Justice Secretary added: “I think it’s going to be a great Christmas.

“All the family, friends, loved ones being able to get together in a way we haven’t been able to do for a couple of years is really important.”

The Esher and Walton MP also urged Brits to get their booster jabs.

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However, Mr Raab appeared opposed to the “straitjacket approach” of mandating vaccinations.

Recent data on the UK Government website shows 35 percent of Brits aged 12 or over have received their booster or third dose.

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