Commuters today reported a noticeable rise in the proportion of London Underground passengers wearing face masks just over 24 hours after they were made a legal requirement once again amid the threat of a £200 fine. 

Since yesterday’s rule change regarding face coverings, 500 Transport for London officers and British Transport Police officers patrolled the network.

TfL ordered customers to keep their face covered since July 19th, when the national rules were repealed. However, TfL’s sole power was to refuse to allow people to board a bus or train for wearing one.

Anybody who violates the directive regarding the use of a face mask may be asked to leave or denied entry to the network. Fines could also be imposed as a last resort.

Officers now once again have the power to issue £200 fines to those who do not comply with the new rules on face coverings, with repeat offenders receiving double fines up to a maximum of £6,400.

And passengers today tweeted of how pleased they were to see such a high level of compliance, with one saying: ‘Practically full mask compliance on my commuter-time train and Tube this morning.’

A second added that ‘Pleased report upwards to 95 per cent mask compliance at Tube this morning, and police asking people whether they have a mask. If only everyone could see that the mask must also cover the nose.

Another tweeted that he had regained his faith in humanity. A mask is worn by every person on my Central Line Tube train carriage. One fourth said: “Mask compliance is back at acceptable levels on Tube.

Police officers today declined to confirm whether there were any fines handed out following the rule change. The data are released by the National Police Chief’s Council quarterly on behalf all forces in England or Wales. 

This morning, a London Bridge police officer spoke to a train passenger as they offered them a covering for their face.

Commuters - most of whom appear to be wearing masks - commute through London Bridge station this morning. Police can now fine people for not wearing a face covering, unless they have a medical or other issue which allows them to be exempt

London Bridge station was filled with commuters, most of them wearing masks. If they don’t have any medical reasons, police can fine them for not having a covering on their face.

Police community support officers monitor people walking through London Bridge station on the morning commute today

Today’s morning commuters are monitored by police officers who provide community support to those walking past London Bridge Station.

People sit on a Jubilee line train in London during the morning commute today as they make their way into work

Today’s morning commuters sit in London on the Jubilee train as they travel to work.

People on the London Underground's Jubilee line this morning as they make their way to work in the capital

This morning, commuters on the Jubilee London Underground line made their way into the capital.

Commuters wear face masks while travelling on the Jubilee line this morning on their way to work

Commuters use face masks to travel on the Jubilee Line this morning, on their way from work.

Public transport must be covered, except for those with a medical exemption. Driving tests require that you use a mask in your car.

Masks are not required in hotels, bars, and restaurants. The new rules have been rejected by bus companies and shops, while a representative of retailers said that they would not enforce them.

These are the rules in effect now.

  • In shops, banks, and salons where hairdressers are located, face covers will be compulsory.
  • Every traveller arriving in the UK from overseas will need to undergo a PCR test within the first day of their arrival. They must also isolate the results until they get a negative one.
  • Contacts of Omicron-case victims will be required to isolate themselves for at least 10 days, regardless of whether or not they have been vaccinated.

Ministers hope the restrictions will ensure we can celebrate Christmas properly this year – amid mounting concerns over the Omicron variant which has threatened to throw the holiday season into chaos. 

Sadiq Khan of London revealed that 85% of Londoners who used public transport before July 19 wore masks. TfL also issued close to 2,000 fines in the period before rules were changed. 

This comes just as Sajid Javid, Health Secretary insists that people continue with Christmas plans. However, he advised partygoers to do a Covid test for lateral flow before they attend events.

To slow the spread of Omicron in the UK, the Government has intensified its Covid booster programme. However, Javid advised that the public should continue to follow the advice of the government even if they are warned by some doctors about the potential dangers of socializing.

Boris Johnson, Prime Minister of the Commons will address MPs in the noon hour for Prime Minister’s Questions in Parliament. He will then present his plan for combating the variant.

The UK government has increased the strictness of PCR tests and quarantine rules for those from high-risk nations. It also reinstated face covers in public places and shops.

Sky News spoke with Mr Javid. He said that he believes people should behave the same way as they planned to over Christmas. There is no need to alter those plans. If people are asked whether they should undergo a Covid screening before going to Christmas parties, Javid answered: ‘Yes. 

People walk down an escalator at London Bridge station this morning on their commute to work

London Bridge station, London Bridge: People take an elevator to reach their destination for the morning commute.

Commuters walk along the platform at London Bridge station on the Jubilee line this morning

Commuters walk on London Bridge Station platform, Jubilee train this morning

Commuters wear face masks while travelling on the Jubilee line this morning on their way to work

Commuters use face masks to travel on the Jubilee Line this morning, on their way from work.

People wear face masks as they make their way through London Bridge station on their way to work this morning

As they walk through London Bridge Station on the way to work, people wear masks.

Commuters wear face masks as they walk along a platform at London Bridge station this morning

Commuters are wearing face masks while they travel along a London Bridge platform this morning

Later, he told BBC Radio 4’s Today program that if you’re invited to Christmas parties, you might want to do an LFT (lateral flow testing) before going. You should go to the party but be careful.

The self-isolation laws will remain in force until March: Tory MPs slam the government for having Omicron regulations in place for FOUR months despite promises to revise the restrictions in just three weeks. This is amid concerns of a return to the pingdemic. 

After new self-isolation rules were revealed in the law, Tory MPs criticized the government. This sparked fears that the restrictions could be in place for much longer than the promised three weeks review. 

A new restriction came into force yesterday which will require people who have been in contact with a case of the Omicron coronavirus variant to self-isolate for 10 days or risk a fine of up to £10,000. 

Boris Johnson said this rule along with the requirement to wear facemasks in shops, on public transport, and that returning travelers must take a PCR test within two days of arrival will all be reviewed prior to Christmas. 

The regulations that underpin the self-isolation law are not set to expire till March 24, prompting an anti-lockdown Tory backlash. 

Conservative MPs are concerned that the new rule will lead to a new ‘pingdemic’, which could destroy the economy as well as the education system. 

Today, Health Secretary Sajid Javid dismissed these concerns. He said that the number of Omicron cases in the UK is currently’very low’ at 22 cases. 

MPs voted yesterday to overwhelmingly support Mr Johnson’s new rule on self-isolation by 431 votes to 36, as 32 Tories rebelled to vote against. 

Backbenchers from the Tory Party are concerned that although the government has stated the restrictions would be reviewed within three weeks, ministers may subsequently decide to retain them. 

While the law regarding compulsory facemasks expires on December 20, the law regarding self-isolation is set to be in force until March 24, according to current law. 

If he were asked whether he would wear an mask to a party, Mr. Javid answered: “It all depends on if I’m walking or sitting down. It all depends on what I am eating. It is up to the individual to decide based upon this guidance.

This comes at a time when Saffron Corery, the deputy chief executive for NHS Providers which represents NHS trusts said that some NHS organizations had requested staff not to mix in large groups in the lead-up to Christmas because of fears about staff absences.

Sky News spoke to her about how this year is’very different’ from last year, when it was clear that no one was attending a Christmas party. She said, “This year we’re in a different place. People will make their own decisions.

“We are aware that many NHS trusts ask their staff to avoid mixing large groups of people in the lead-up to Christmas due to the possible threat to their health. They are setting an example.

‘I believe, at the moment without that advice to Government, it’s for individuals or individual organisations to reflect on what they will do in the lead-up to Christmas. It’s an extremely difficult and challenging task.

We encourage everybody to get their booster as soon as they are available. And to make sure everyone is ventilated.

The BBC has obtained leaked minutes from a Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies meeting that was held Monday. They show scientists believing booster jabs can provide short-term protection against most forms of severe illness, hospitalisation, and death.

However, the notes warn that any significant reduction of protection against infection could still lead to an extremely large wave of new infections.

“This could lead to an increase in hospitalisations, even though protection against serious diseases is less severe.”

Sage’s Professor Andrew Hayward said on Times Radio that, if the variant is more easily transmissible, then it would spread. The question now is how fast and if it will peak before the extra protection through vaccination.

According to him, the goal was to reduce the severity of the infection wave.

He was asked whether people should avoid Christmas parties.

“I don’t mean to discourage you from going to these events, but it is important to remember that it is a cumulative effect, and the more you expose yourself to it, the greater your chances of getting it, and spreading it. 

“I feel there needs to be individual choice. People have different perspectives of risk, different desires to go to these events. And I believe we must respect this.

Prof Hayward commented on whether Omicron has been taken too hard by the UK.

He spoke out about the left-behind measures, saying: “Obviously we have introduced more masking in public transport and shops. But we could also be introducing it into other areas.

“Clearly, I welcome the booster vaccine campaign and that will certainly help. However, more social distancing is not an option. We take it seriously.

“It seems that social mixing is increasing in the lead-up to Christmas. This is quite concerning given these conditions.

“I am not suggesting that these events should be stopped, or banned. However, I believe people may think about how they can spend more time outdoors, keeping more distance, using masks to target them and taking possible tests prior to going to the one. Then, they might take tests afterwards to see their family at Christmas.

Yesterday evening the Prime Minister asked people to not cancel Christmas parties and school nativity plays. At a Downing Street press event he stated that he will throw everything at the booster vaccine campaign in an effort to combat the variant’s spread.

Everybody who is eligible will be given a booster shot by January 31st. At least 400 military personnel are expected to help the NHS and the vaccination centers ‘popping up as Christmas trees,’ he said.