Boris Johnson
The prime minister announced new precautionary measures on November 27 following the emergence of the Omicron variant in the UK. Image credit: UK Government.

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Under government guidelines, retail includes art and antiques auction houses and dealers' shops, antiques centres and galleries (but not museums) as well as indoor fairs. However some exemptions for individuals still apply, as before.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the new measures to respond to the emergence of UK cases of the Omicron variant. 

The government published the latest guidance on face coverings in England today (November 30) on the website.

Many art and antiques venues were already requiring face coverings and some businesses alerted customers to the change ahead of time.

Sunbury Antiques Market yesterday told fair goers arriving today that face coverings will be required indoors.

In England the face covering rule does not apply to hospitality.

In Scotland requirements for face coverings were already in place for all indoor settings for food, retail and public transport. Scotland also advises to work from home where possible.

In Wales it remains a legal requirement to wear face coverings in all indoor places open to the public (except hospitality and wedding venues).

In Northern Ireland face coverings are also required in all indoor settings accessible to the public.

In Ireland face coverings must be worn in indoor public settings unless sitting at a restaurant or café table.

Read more online at the relevant government websites:

England: guidance as Omicron variant emerges

Wales: on face coverings guidance 

Scotland: latest on Omicron variant 

Ireland: on face coverings guidance 

Northern Ireland: guidance on face coverings