FACE coverings will once again be made mandatory in shops and on public transport from tomorrow as cases of a new Covid variant continue to rise.

Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, revealed in a press conference on Saturday that rules are being tightened to help protect against the Omicron variant of the virus.

According to the World Health Organisation, the Omicron variant originated in South Africa and studies are ongoing to determine whether the variant is more transmissible compared to other variants.

However, to help protect against the new variant, masks are now mandatory on public transport and in shops.

Masks have not been required since July and these new rules will come into effect tomorrow.

During the press conference, the Prime Minister said: “We need to slow down the seeding of this variant in our country.

“We need to buy time for our scientists to understand exactly what we are dealing with, and for us to get more people vaccinated and - above all - to get more people boosted.

“We will also go further in asking all of you to help contain the spread of this variant, by tightening up the rules on face coverings in shops and on public transport.”