Michael Kill, chief executive of the NTIA, said that while the detection of the new variant in the UK was 'hugely concerning', it was encouraged by the decision not to mitigate against hospitality and the night-time economy.
Over the weekend, the Government announced the introduction of new 'temporary and precautionary measures' to help try prevent the spread of the Covid-19 Omicron variant that will come into force on Tuesday (30 November).
Face coverings will be compulsory in shops and other settings such as banks, post offices and hairdressers, as well as on public transport unless individuals are exempt from doing so. However, they will not be required in hospitality settings.
Meanwhile, all travellers entering the country from 4am on Tuesday will be required to take a PCR test within the first two days of their arrival, and have to self isolate until they have received a negative test result.
“Although somewhat tentative about the coming weeks, it needs to be clear that the sector is still extremely fragile and will not survive further trade inhibiting restrictions or a potential lockdown,” said Kill.
“The current baseline mitigation within businesses across this industry has been extremely effective. Coupled with the vaccination programme, we must remain confident that we are in a stronger position to deal with variants than many other countries across the world.”