Face coverings compulsory on public transport and in shops from tomorrow
Hackney Council is reminding residents that face coverings will be compulsory in shops, businesses, Council buildings, as well as on public transport, unless individuals are exempt, from tomorrow (Tuesday 30 November), following updated government rules.
Students in year 7 and above, as well as staff and visitors, have also been strongly advised by the government to wear a face covering in communal areas in schools, unless they are exempt.
The government has said that the measures are temporary - and precautionary - in order to prevent the spread of the new Covid-19 Omicron variant.
The Council is reminding residents of these four steps to staying safe:
- Stay home: if you feel unwell and have symptoms, stay at home and take a PCR test.
- Stay safe: continue to wash your hands regularly, wear a mask in public spaces, keep your distance and ventilate spaces you share with other people by opening windows for 10 minutes each hour.
- Get vaccinated: get your Covid-19 and flu vaccinations for maximum protection.
- Get tested: Take regular lateral flow tests to ensure you aren’t spreading the virus to those around you.
People aged 40 to 49 can now get a booster vaccine six months after their second dose. Book your vaccination appointment online or find a walk-in clinic.The booster will soon be extended to everyone over 18 who has had their second dose at least three months previously.
Residents must start wearing face coverings again in public transport and in shops, as well as in places such as libraries, community halls, hairdressers, banks and post offices, from tomorrow.
Mask-wearing is one of the best ways to help keep each other safe because it has been proven to slow the spread of all forms of Covid-19. This is really important at this busy time of year when shops and public transport are busier than usual with festive shoppers.
Vaccines remain our best single line of defence. Experts remain confident that our current vaccines will provide protection against the new variant, but the extent of this continues to be investigated. I continue to urge all residents who have not been vaccinated to do so; or get your booster if you’re aged 40 and over, and have been double-vaccinated at least six months ago.
The news of a new variant - called Omicron - will have understandably caused concern for people locally and beyond; that’s why we welcome these precautionary and hopefully temporary measures to slow or stop the spread of the virus. I would urge everyone to follow the existing ‘four steps to staying safe’ advice, take a look at this new guidance, and work together to keep themselves and Hackney safe.
We have written to schools to let them know about the changes to rules in education settings too, and welcome parents supporting these measures; and we will also be providing support and updated guidance to businesses to help them keep their customers safe.
The government has also said all travellers arriving into the country from 4am tomorrow will be required to take a PCR test on or before day two and self-isolate until they have received a negative test result.