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New Covid-19 Rules: Everything you need to know as masks become compulsory in shops and on transport

The new rules will come into place tomorrow at 4

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Mika Baumeister / Unsplash & Nickolay Romensky / Flickr

From tomorrow, November 30th, the use of face masks and coverings will once again be compulsory in shops and on public transport.

The government made the decision as part of its response to the new Omicron variant, which is said to be ‘more transmissible and have more mutations which could weaken the effect of vaccines and natural immunity.’ 

The change in rules was announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson after cases of the new variant were detected at several locations across the UK. The Health Secretary Sajid Javid gave more detail yesterday, November 28th, saying the masks rule would apply from 4am on Tuesday

Here’s everything you need to know:

Where will face masks be compulsory after November 30th? 

Face masks and coverings will be mandatory in all shops and on all forms of public transport.

A statement from the Government says: “From 4am Tuesday November 30th, 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.”

However, all hospitality will be exempt from the rule change, with the Prime Minister saying further details would be outlined by the Health Secretary ‘in the course of the next day or so’. 

Will face masks be compulsory in schools?

While staff and secondary school students are being ‘strongly advised’ to wear face masks in communal areas from Monday, the rule won’t be mandatory in schools

Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi recommends that staff, visitors and pupils in Year 7 and above should wear masks in communal areas in schools, colleges and universities such as corridors, canteens and halls.

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What other measures are being brought in?

Passengers arriving into the UK from Tuesday will have to take a PCR test and self-isolate until they receive a negative result. PCR tests must be purchased from private providers as free NHS tests are not valid for this purpose.

All close contacts of anyone who has tested positive for the Omicron variant must also self-isolate for ten days regardless of their vaccination status.

England’s chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty also said during Saturday’s press conference that the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation will consider extending boosters from the over-40s to the over-18s.

Will more restrictions be brought in?

The Health Secretary said during Saturday’s press conference that it was ‘nowhere near’ the time to reintroduce social distancing rules and work-from-home guidance, and was hopeful the mask mandate would be removed ‘within weeks’.

Also speaking on Saturday, Boris Johnson added that the measures are simply a ‘precaution’ and are in place to ‘buy time for scientists’ while more is learned about the Omicron variant.

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Man arrested following three attempted kidnappings of schoolgirls

A 33-year-old was arrested.

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Greater Manchester Police

Police have arrested a man following their release of CCTV footage featuring a car they believe was used in three attempted kidnappings around Salford.

A man driving the vehicle reportedly attempted to force a 15-year-old girl into the car at a bus stop in Monton on November 21st.

Detectives also think the same man ‘possibly’ tried to abduct another girl earlier that same day, as well as a third teenager five days previous.

Now police have confirmed that a 33-year-old man was arrested by officers today, Monday November 28th, on suspicion of three counts of attempted kidnap.

According to Greater Manchester Police, the victims have been left ‘extremely shaken up’.

Officers identified the vehicle in the footage as a black Vauxhall Astra with a silver cover on the driver’s side wing mirror.

Greater Manchester Police

Detective Inspector Chris Horsfield, of GMP’s Salford CID, said: “Although we have made this arrest, we are still very much looking to speak to anyone who may have information or dashcam footage, which could help us to establish the circumstances.

“We understand that the local community will be concerned but we are doing all we can to solve this investigation.

“I’d urge anyone who knows anything at all to please get in touch as soon as possible. In particular we are interested in the movements of a Black Vauxhall Astra 08 plate with a silver driver’s wing mirror cover; the passenger side is black.”

Police are still keen to speak to anyone with dashcam footage from the following times:

  • Liverpool Street, Salford, between Fitzwarren Street and Albion Way on November 16th, between 7:45-8:20pm
  • Mossfield Road and Ackworth Road, Swinton, on November 21st, between 8-9am
  • Rocky Lane, Monton Green and Monton High Street on November 21st, between 6-7pm

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Police believe this car was used in three attempted kidnappings of schoolgirls

Do you recognise the vehicle?

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Greater Manchester Police

Police have released CCTV footage of a car they believe was used in three attempted kidnappings around Salford.

A man driving the vehicle attempted to force a 15-year-old girl into the car at a bus stop in Monton on November 21st.

Detectives also think the same man tried to abduct another girl earlier that same day, as well as a third teenager five days previous.

According to Greater Manchester Police, the victims have been left ‘extremely shaken up’.

Detective Inspector Chris Horsfield said: “It’s very important that we get this man identified and off the streets as soon as possible.”

Police have identified the vehicle in the footage as a black Vauxhall Astra with a silver cover on the driver’s side wing mirror.

Greater Manchester Police

Anyone with dashcam footage from the following times, officers are keen to speak to you:

  • Liverpool Street, Salford, between Fitzwarren Street and Albion Way on November 16th, between 7:45-8:20pm

  • Mossfield Road and Ackworth Road, Swinton, on November 21st, between 8-9am

  • Rocky Lane, Monton Green and Monton High Street on November 21st, between 6-7pm

 

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‘Heartbroken’ family of three-year-old girl tragically killed in M6 crash pay tribute

‘RIP baby girl, we are all missing you and will carry on forever’

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Lancashire Police

The three-year-old girl who tragically died in a horror crash on the motorway this weekend has been named.

Faye Dawson, from Wallasey in Merseyside, died when an elderly driver’s Porsche collided with the car she was in on the M6 in Lancashire.

Emergency services responded to the incident, which happened between Preston and Leyland, at about 5.50pm on Saturday, November 19th.

The M6 was shut in both directions for several hours following the tragic incident, with two lanes of the southbound carriageway remaining closed on Sunday while emergency surface repairs were undertaken.

Lancashire Police

Faye’s family have now released a tribute, saying: “We can’t see the future without you, it has left a massive hole in our lives.

“Everyone says how precious their daughter/granddaughter is but you were an exception, you were such a clever little girl who was very funny and had us all laughing all the time.

“You were so loving and caring and above all very loved by everyone who met you. You’re now at rest with your great nanny, great grandad, and Uncle Jimmy.

“Words won’t justify how much we are all going to miss you and how much we all love you. Your mummy is being so brave, and she will continue to make you proud.

“You were too little to be taken away from us, but we know the angels will look after you and they’re lucky to have you dancing in the sky with them.

“We are all so heartbroken that you were taken far too young, but we are so glad that we got to have you for the time we did.

“RIP baby girl, we are all missing you and will carry on forever. All our love.”

Lancashire Police

Police think that the Porsche – which was being driven by a 79-year-old man who also died at the scene – crashed into the Vauxhall Meriva that Faye was travelling in.

The car then flipped on its side and burst into flames, with two adults travelling in the Vauxhall rushed to hospital.

Faye’s mother suffered serious injuries and is being treated in hospital, while a man who was in the car also received serious injuries.

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Officers are still appealing for witnesses. Sergeant Craig Booth, the serious Collision Investigator for Lancashire Police’s Tactical Operations Unit, said: “These are very sad and tragic circumstances.

“This was a traumatic scene for all witnesses and emergency services involved, I would like to pass on my thanks for their dedication in dealing with an incident which can only be described as horrific.

“We want to hear from any witnesses to the collision or those who have dashcam footage from the area around the time it happened.”

Anyone who witnessed the incident or has dashcam footage from the motorway can contact 101 – quoting log 1102 of November 19th, 2022.

 

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