The Government said temporary and precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the new Covid-19 Omicron variant in the UK will come into force on Tuesday, 30 November.

From 4am on 30 November face coverings will be compulsory in shops and other settings such as banks, post offices and hairdressers, as well as on public transport unless individuals are exempt from doing so. All hospitality settings will be exempt.

Night Time Industries Association CEO Michael Kill said that while the detection of the new variant in the UK was hugely concerning, the NTIA is encouraged by the Government’s decision not to mitigate against hospitality and night time economy settings.

Said Kill, “Although somewhat tentative about the coming weeks, [we] need to be clear that the sector is still extremely fragile and will not survive further trade inhibiting restrictions or a potential lockdown.

“The current baseline mitigation’s within  businesses across this industry, have been extremely effective. Coupled with the vaccination programme we must remain confident that we are in a stronger position to deal with variants than many other countries across the world.”

The Government said all travellers arriving into the country will be required to take a PCR test on or before day 2 and self isolate until they have received a negative test result.

An urgent meeting of G7 health ministers will also be convened on Monday 29 November to discuss the developments on Omicron.

Anyone who has tested positive for the Omicron variant are required to isolate for 10 days regardless of whether they have been vaccinated.