England Mask Mandate Sees Major Expansion as Restrictions Mount
( Breitbart )
The mask mandate in England has been massively expanded today as part of a range of new restrictions announced on Wednesday.
The newly expanded mandate, which was announced by an embattled Boris Johnson on Wednesday, is part of new ‘Plan B’ restrictions put in place in England to combat the rise in Covid cases.
Rules regarding face coverings in retail settings and on public transport had already been implemented last month, with the new rules set to massively expand on those requirements.
According to the BBC, masks will now also be mandatory in cinemas, theatres, indoor stadiums, museums, and places of worship.
Exemptions are in place for eating and singing, however, with masks remaining optional in restaurants, pubs, and bars.
Additional ‘Plan B’ measures that are to be implemented include work from home guidance as well as the implementation of domestic Covid passports for certain events in England.
Covid passes have already been imposed by devolved governments in the United Kingdom’s other Home Nations.
While the government has claimed that the new restrictions have been implemented to further combat the new Omicron variant of the Chinese coronavirus, others have accused Boris Johnson of using Covid measures to distract from recent controversies.
The prime minister’s former chief advisor, Dominic Cummings, had accused him of using so-called “dead cat” tactics to distract from an ongoing Christmas party scandal, centred on gatherings that allegedly occurred in Downing Street last winter.
These gatherings, which are alleged to include at least one Christmas party, may have broken the government’s own strict lockdown rules that were in place at the time.
Using a “dead cat” involves dropping a proverbial bombshell in order to displace an undesirable narrative, with Cummings accusing Johnson of using the restrictions to move attention away from the alleged gatherings.
“Any Cabinet Minister who supports [Johnson announcing] Plan B today in *lunatic* attempt to dead cat the parties is defending the indefensible [sic],” Cummings wrote online.
Meanwhile, many Conservative backbenchers have rebelled against the government over the restrictions, with former Cabinet minister Andrew Mitchell telling the BBC that the current mood in the party is “sulphurous”.
“Why should people listen to the Prime Minister’s instructions to follow the rules when people inside Number 10 Downing Street don’t do so?” asked Mark Harper MP.
“It is vital that the maximum number of Conservative MPs vote against Plan B, whatever our useless Opposition do,” another Tory backbencher, Steve Baker, posted online.
Johnson also caused significant outrage by suggesting the possibility of forced vaccination in Britain, with the prime minister saying that there needed to be a “national conversation” regarding vaccine mandates.
In response to the suggestion, Brexit leader Nigel Farage said that he was “astonished” by Johnson’s suggestion, and questioned the prime minister’s authority to govern.
“I am not surprised the Germans, the Austrians, the European Union are going down that path. But I never, ever, believed in my life I would hear such a thing from a British prime minister,” Farage — the man who arguably orchestrated the downfall of the last two British prime ministers — said.
“As far as I’m concerned, Mr Johnson, I’m not listening anymore, I don’t believe you have the moral authority to lead this country.”