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NATIONAL NEWS ROUNDUP: Masks become mandatory in most indoor settings in England AND business optimism is highest since July


Here’s your latest national news roundup including masks become compulsory in more settings in England, 

Masks must be worn in more settings including cinemas, theatres and churches as measures are tightened in England in a bid to slow the spread of the latest coronavirus variant.

Tougher restrictions have been branded a “necessary evil” by a scientist advising the Government, who said the new approach “absolutely is not an overreaction”.

From Friday, in England the legal requirement to wear masks has been extended to more indoor spaces including museums, galleries and community centres.

Sports stadia are also included in regulations published on Thursday evening, but the Department of Health confirmed face coverings will only be mandatory in indoor areas.

Business optimism across the UK increased for a second consecutive month in November, but it could be short lived because of the new restrictions, according to a new report.

Optimism in companies has reached its highest level since July, according to business advisory firm BDO LLP.

The report said the rise in optimism was due to an earlier than usual increase in spending by consumers and firms ahead of the festive period.

The Guide Dogs charity is calling for action to tackle illegal riding of e-scooters after conducting a study of the impact of a collision with pedestrians.

An initial impact of hitting a pedestrian at 15.5 mph could cause moderate injury but it could be worse if someone falls and hit their head on the ground, its report said.

A test was commissioned by Guide Dogs to raise awareness about the dangers of illegally used, privately owned e-scooters.

Chris Theobald, of Guide Dogs, said: “The trials of e-scooter hire schemes have sparked a boom in private sales, and we expect even more e-scooters to be bought as Christmas presents this month.

“We are urging the Government to work with the police to tackle illegal riding and make the public more aware of the law.

“If the Government is seriously considering fully legalising e-scooters on public roads, they need to get a grip on safety.

“Our testing shows that everybody is at risk, not just people with visual impairments.

“Any legislation to legalise e-scooters has to fully address speeds, weights, sound, and critically, keep e-scooters off the pavement where they can do significant harm.”

Private e-scooters cannot legally be used in the UK except on private land, but are a common sight on roads and pavements in urban areas.

Dozens of legalised e-scooter rental schemes have been launched in towns and cities across Britain since July 2020 as part of Government trials, despite long-running safety concerns about the devices.

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