Tuesday, 30 November 2021

Coronavirus legislation ~ Omicron variant ~ face coverings and self-isolation

In response to the Omicron variant of Coronavirus (Covid-19), the government has made new Regulations relating to the wearing of face coverings and self-isolation. 

The Regulations came into force at 4 am on 30 November.

18 July 2021 saw the removal of most of the Coronavirus secondary legislation although Regulations relating to international travel remained in place and, since July, have been the subject of numerous further amendments. (The travel Regulations are not considered further here).

The new Regulations may be seen at -

Health Protection (Coronavirus, Wearing of Face Coverings) (England) Regulations 2021

The places where face coverings must be worn and also where they need not be worn are set out in Schedule 1 of the Regulations.  As an example, they must be worn in shops, enclosed shopping centres, banks, building societies and post offices but they need not be worn in restaurants, cafes and canteens, bars, public houses etc. 

The Self-Isolation Regulations provide for self-isolation where NHS Test and Trace notifies an individual that they are a close contact of a case suspected or confirmed as having the Omicron variant.


The face coverings Regulations expire at the end of 20 December 2021 but it is open to the government to bring forward new Regulations.

The self-isolation Regulations amend The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Self-Isolation) (England) Regulations 2020 which came into force on 28 September 2020. Those Regulations were originally due to expire after 12 months but this was extended to 24 March 2022.

UK Government statement:

Measures against Omicron variant come into effect: 30 November 2021 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)


Daily data on Coronavirus is issued by the government  - Government data 

Since July the daily number of positive cases has continued to be stubbornly high - 42,583 new cases on 29 November.

Deaths in the UK from Covid stand at 144,810

Deaths in the UK | Coronavirus in the UK (data.gov.uk)

Admissions to hospital may be seen at

Healthcare in the UK | Coronavirus in the UK (data.gov.uk)


Earlier post - Law and Lawyers: Coronavirus Restrictions ~ Changes from 19 July (obiterj.blogspot.com)

Coronavirus Statutory Instruments Dashboard | Delegated legislation and Coronavirus SIs in Parliament | Hansard Society

A website worth following on Coronavirus law is Coronavirus Law Resources (cholland.com)

Addendum 1 December 2021

Hansard - House of Commons debate approving the Regulations - Public Health - Hansard - UK Parliament

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