At a special Downing Street press conference convened at 5pm, the Prime Minister announced that face coverings would become mandatory in shops and on public transport and everyone arriving in the U.K. would have to take a PCR test, regardless of their vaccination status, in an effort to curb the spread of the new Omicron variant. BBC News has a summary:
* PM says anyone arriving in the UK will be asked to take a PCR test for COVID-19 on the second day
* They would then have to self isolate until they provide a negative test, he says
* Rules on face coverings will be tightened up in shops and public transport, with a review in three weeks
Rather confusingly, Chris Whitty said there was a “reasonable chance” the new variant can partially escape the Covid vaccines and, in the next breath, said it was therefore very important for people to get the booster jab. Eh?
So, if I’ve understood the Government’s reasoning correctly, because two cases of the Omicron variant have been detected in England, it’s essential that as many people as possible should get a booster of a vaccine that is already largely ineffective against the spread of the Delta variant and is even less effective at preventing the spread of this new variant. Clear? Oh, and in addition masks are now going to be mandatory on public transport and in shops, but not in pubs, bars or restaurants because, as any fule know, the Omicron variant poses no threat to people eating or drinking. And this new mask mandate has been imposed in spite of the fact that there’s little robust evidence that tight-fitting, disposable, surgical masks do anything to suppress infection, let alone loose-fitting, multi-use, cloth masks.
Is this a new low in Government idiocy? Has anyone else noticed than ‘Omicron’ is an anagram of ‘Moronic’?
Stop Press: Read Michael Curzon’s reaction to the Downing Street briefing at Bournbrook.