Oxford Mail readers have been reacting to new restrictions imposed by the Government following the discovery of Omicron, a new coronavirus variant.

The variant has been discovered in parts of the UK and mas wearing in England has become compulsory again in shops and on public transport.

Face coverings were already mandatory on public transport and in many indoor areas in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Secondary school pupils are being “strongly advised” to wear masks in communal areas, as are staff and visitors at all schools and childcare settings.

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The new rules also apply to staff and customers in hairdressers, tattoo studios, nail bars, post offices, banks and other businesses.

The rules don’t apply to other indoor venues such as gyms, theatres or cinemas, although the previous guidance recommended wearing masks in all crowded settings.

They also won’t be extended to hospitality venues in England at the moment.

The police will enforce the regulations “where it is necessary,” says the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC).

When masks were previously compulsory, retail customers faced a fine of up to £100 (£50 if paid within 14 days) if they failed to wear one.

According to the NPCC, 2,306 Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) were issued in England and Wales in the year to July.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced new restrictions at the weekend.

MIKE WIGGINS: “An anagram of the new variant Omicron is Moronic so nothing to fear.”

NATE CHALMERS: “I’ve never been concerned or worried about covid, I’m fed up of hearing about it.”

MARGARET BOGGS: “No point in being frightened. Have your jabs, wear a mask, social distance. Then hopefully you will not be badly hit.”

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ADRIAN HOLLIS: “Margaret if the three things you have listed seriously work, explain how the cases shot up so much when that was in action? Why can’t people actually see it doesn’t work?

“Explain how there were breakouts in hospitals and care homes when the measures were strictest?”

OXFORD MAIL READER: “All these measures are proven to work. Hospitalisations and deaths reduce when they are introduced and enforced, and go up when they are relaxed or ignored.”

MARGARET BOGGS: “The numbers actually shot up when they (the measures) stopped!”

EMMA WALKER: “There is always going to be a new strain! We need to get on with our lives as this is never going away.”

MARYANN HALL: “I never stopped wearing masks, I even social distance in our house.”

DANI STOCKTON: “It’s a virus it will keep changing I guess we will see more mutations over the next year - all we can do is wear a mask in public places and be sensible - or nothing will improve.”

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PETE FANE: “Wearing a mask in shops and on public transport is no problem.”

ALAN HUNTLEY: “I’m just getting over Covid and I don’t want to die from another mutation.”

ANDY MORRIS: “As long as the pubs stay open its ok.”

OXFORD MAIL READER: “If the government has said you must wear masks in ships and on public transport, then it would be responsible if people adhered to it.

“If you don’t then you should be barred from entering.

“It may sound draconian and dictatorial but for people not to realise or say I’m not wearing a mask is just plain stupid.

“It does appear Covid will be here for many years yet but with vaccines available and tweaking it to deal with new variants is all we can hope and wish for until something is found to eradicate this disease.”

OXFORD MAIL READER: “We are never going to eradicate this disease.

“That’s the problem with your lot, you think zero Covid is possible and it must be achieved regardless of anyone’s basic rights.

“Not allowed to show their face or breathe properly in public. Must be forced to take a vaccine even if they don’t want it.

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“Basic freedoms in the hands of the government to be given and taken away whenever suits.

“This is a disturbing vision for everyday life that folks like you seem to share.”

OXFORD MAIL READER: “With people out there not wearing the mask it simply didn’t help so how about trying to play by the rules this time around.”

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