A COUNCIL leader has labelled new measures to combat the latest Covid-19 variant as “undeniably tiresome”.

New rules were brought in this week mandating the wearing of face coverings in shops and on public transport amid concerns about the Omicron variant.

Neil Stock, leader of Tendring Council, urged people to take heed of the measures and said people would be “silly to break the law”.

But he added: “It is frustrating - we are two years into this now and are still having to wear masks.

“We’ve mostly all had the second and even third jabs - the Government had promoted the vaccine as the way out of this, so we’re all fed up with it.

“Even people who thought we should never have stopped wearing masks can’t think that we’ll wear them forever.

“I think everyone should have the vaccine and urge people to do so, but I’m concerned about what we have seen in other countries in Europe where it is now mandatory - it’s frankly terrifying.

“We must respect people’s decision and their own judgement over medical treatment.

“We have got this new variant and people want to be seen to act swiftly, but I doubt people feel the measures introduced will have any meaningful impact.”

Mr Stock’s comments came as the council urged businesses and residents in the district to “keep up the good work” after the new national measures came into force.

It said the council’s community ambassadors will be working with the authority’s other teams to provide advice and support to businesses around the new regulations.

Mr Stock added: “It is undeniably tiresome that after nearly two years we are still having to live with restrictions, but it is important that we take heed of these new measures – introduced hopefully temporarily while the world gets to grips with this new variant – and follow the law.

“I hope Tendring continues to be a good example of following best practise by testing appropriately, wearing face masks in shops and on public transport, and remaining vigilant to ensure that we all stay safe.”