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10 December 2021

Following reports of a new strain of coronavirus known as Omicron in the UK, the Government has announced some changes to the current rules. This means:

  • Face coverings are a requirement on public transport, in all shops, and in other settings such as banks and hairdressers. From Friday, 10 December face coverings must also be worn in settings including theatres and cinemas. Although face coverings aren't mandatory in other places, you're strongly advised to wear them in any indoor settings.

  • From Monday 13 December, you're advised to work from home where possible.

  • All travellers entering the UK are required to take a PCR test on day 2 and self-isolate until they receive a negative result.

  • Anyone testing positive for coronavirus must self-isolate for 10 days. Close contacts of people testing positive for the Omicron strain will also have to self-isolate even if they are fully vaccinated (Test and Trace will inform you if this applies to you).

  • You will need a coronavirus status certificate to prove you've been vaccinated when attending any of the following:
    • a nightclub
    • unseated indoor crowded settings with 500 or more attendees
    • unseated outdoor crowded settings with 400 or more attendees
    • any setting with 10,000 or more attendees  

Other rules will remain the same, which means:

  • There are no limits on the number of people you can meet up with – indoors or outdoors. This includes life events such as weddings, funerals and large events such as sports matches and festivals.

  • Social distancing is no longer a legal requirement – but it's strongly recommended in places such as hospitals.

  • All businesses can be open.

The Government has also advised taking rapid lateral flow tests before spending time in crowded spaces or visiting people who are at more risk of becoming seriously ill with coronavirus.

This information has been updated following the announcement on Wednesday 8 December. As more information on restrictions is published we will be reviewing and updating our information.

If you need support

If you need support, have any questions about the current rules, or you are worried about a family member or friend we are here to help, please call us on 0800 019 1310 or email:

More information and advice about Coronavirus (COVID 19):