NEW Covid rules on self-isolating will remain in law until the end of March amid fears of an Omicron pingdemic.

Government restrictions mean anyone who has contact with someone infected with the Omicron variant must self-isolate for 10 days, with flouters risking a £10,000 fine.

PA

Self-isolation rules will remain as laws until the end of March

Boris Johnson held a No 10 press conference this afternoon to unveil his plans

Reuters

Boris Johnson held a No 10 press conference this afternoon to unveil his plans

The self-isolation rule will also apply to Brits who are already double jabbed in a change from recent legal requirements.

Furious MPs blasted the new restrictions as “the path to hell” and fear it will force Brits forced to stay at home despite not being infected.

But the regulations, which came into force today, were voted through the Commons today and won’t expire until March 24.

It comes as Boris Johnson called in the Army to help deliver millions more booster jabs to all adults by the end of January.

The Prime Minister called for another “great British vaccination effort” with 13million people aged 18 to 39 now eligible for a third dose.

Hundreds more NHS vaccination sites are opening, with soldiers drafted in to staff new jab clinics and turbocharge the fight against Omicron.


Mandatory face masks on public transport and shops have also been reintroduced in a bid to control spread of the new strain.

But dozens of Tory rebels voted against the new restrictions today, branding them “oppressive, authoritarian and dictatorial”. 

Steve Brine, a former health minister, said: “We are not just looking at a pingdemic in our economy and in our businesses.

“We are looking at a pingdemic that will devastate education again.”

Former Brexit minister Steve Baker told the House of Commons: “This is a fundamental choice, I would say, between heading towards heaven and heading towards hell.”

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“If we continue to react to these fears and uncertainties by taking the authoritarian course, without impact assessments, because they’re only temporary, you know, then we are embarked on that downward course.’”

Mark Harper, the former chief whip, pointed out that the new law on masks expires on December 21 – three months earlier than the self-isolation rules.

The Government has said it will review all the new Covid curbs in three weeks, with Health Secretary Sajid Javid insisting they’ll be removed if Omicron is less deadly than the Delta variant.

Travel rules have been beefed up and anyone landing in the UK now has to isolate until a negative day two test result.

This is a fundamental choice, I would say, between heading towards heaven and heading towards hell


Steve Baker

A Whitehall source told The Telegraph the self-isolation, mask and travel rules are seen by the Government as “one package”

There are only 22 cases of the new variant so far, with scientists and doctors requiring more data in the coming weeks on how Omicron impacts hospitalisations and deaths.

Experts fear the fast-spreading variant, which carries about 50 mutations, could evade current vaccines.

The PM told Brits it’s “crucial” that everyone comes forward for their booster jabs to fight off the Omicron variant.

Mr Johnson said the third dose will give people greater protection against the mutant strain and insisted there’s no need for extra Covid restrictions.

He said: “The best way to show our grit is to do our bit and step forward when time comes for the booster.

“Whenever your turn comes, get your booster and ask your friends and your family to do the same.

“It’s time for another great British vaccination effort. We’ve done it before and we’re going to do it again. And let’s not give this virus a second chance.”

 

Boris Johnson calls on Brits to get Covid booster jab to fight Omicron and says ‘let’s not give this virus a second chance’



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By James Carter

A Senior writer & Editor, James is a postgraduate in biotechnology and has an immense interest in following news developments. Quiet by nature, he is an avid Lacrosse player. He is responsible for handling the office staff writers and providing them with the latest updates happenings in the world. He writes for almost all sections of Editorials 24.