Norfolk County Council to re-introduce mask rules amid Covid variant concern
Visitors to Norfolk County Council buildings will again be required to wear facemasks following the tightening of coronavirus rules announced by ministers.
But senior officials say there is no sign that the new Omicron variant of the disease is present in the county, for now at least.
From tomorrow morning, face coverings will again be required in shops and on public transport.
Secondary schools have also been advised to enforce mask wearing by students in communal areas.
County Hall officials outlined their plans to reintroduce masks this afternoon.
A spokesman told the Lynn News: "We at the County Council will be asking visitors to our sites (including Libraries, Museums and Registrar’s offices) to wear masks.
"Some of the locations would come under the umbrella of “retail sites” in the government guidance, so to avoid confusion we’re asking any visitors to wear masks."
Meanwhile, Dr Louise Smith, the county's director of public health, said there was "no direct or indirect evidence" at present of any Covid cases linked to the Omicron variant in the county.
But she warned that the identification of the variant was a timely warning that the virus is still with us and people should be vigilant.
She said: “The tightening of Covid rules that has been announced over the weekend should remind everyone that our own individual actions are key in stopping the spread of the virus.
“Vaccination remains the best defence against Covid-19, including for new variants.
“We encourage anybody who hasn't yet had their first or second dose to do so, and for those eligible for their booster dose to take this up as soon as possible.
“We also encourage everybody to test regularly, and to isolate if they have a positive test or symptoms of Covid-19.
“For the Omicron variant and in general, we will continue to update and develop our local response according to the latest national guidance and best available scientific evidence.”