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Kent printing company called Omicron says they won’t change their name because of a new variant

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Bosses of a printing company called ‘Omicron’ say they will not change the name of their company – despite now sharing it with the latest Covid variant.

Omicron Reprographics has been operating in Canterbury, Kent, for over 25 years.

But the small print shop is now no longer the most talked-about ‘Omicron’ in the cathedral city since the emergence of the new Covid strain – named after the 15th Greek letter.

Owners Mark Fawcett-Jones and director Dave Loveridge say they have been inundated with phone calls and messages from surprised customers following the World Health Organization’s naming of the new variant.

But they say they won’t change the name of the store, which is also shared with a 1963 Italian science fiction film.

Instead, they decided to embrace it, by dressing up in Breaking Bad style costumes and adding ‘not the variant’ to email signatures.

They also hope the wider use of the name will mean customers will spell it correctly, “after correcting people for the past 13 years.”

Mr Loveridge said: ‘A few people have asked if we were considering changing the name, but we didn’t.

Omicron Reprographics has been operating in Canterbury, Kent, for over 25 years. But the small print shop is now no longer the most talked-about ‘Omicron’ in the cathedral city since the emergence of the new Covid strain – named after the 15th Greek letter

Owners Mark Fawcett-Jones and director Dave Loveridge say they have been inundated with phone calls and messages from surprised customers following the World Health Organization's naming of the new variant.  Pictured: Omicron in Canterbury, Kent

Owners Mark Fawcett-Jones and director Dave Loveridge say they have been inundated with phone calls and messages from surprised customers following the World Health Organization’s naming of the new variant. Pictured: Omicron in Canterbury, Kent

Bosses say they won't change their store's name and instead embraced it, dressing in Breaking Bad-style costumes and adding 'not the variant' to email signatures

Bosses say they won’t change their store’s name and instead embraced it, dressing in Breaking Bad-style costumes and adding ‘not the variant’ to email signatures

Why the name Omicron for the newest form of care?

Omicron is the 15th letter of the Greek alphabet – which the World Health Organization has used to categorize new variants of concern for Covid.

At the start of the pandemic, the organization pushed for a change in the use of country names, warning that this could lead to countries being “stigmatized.”

Earlier variants such as the Kent species were renamed Alpha, while the current dominant species, the Indian variant, was changed to Delta.

The previous variant was Mu. But the WHO decided to skip the next two, Nu and Xi, and move on to Omicron.

According to the WHO, Nu was skipped because it was too easily confused with ‘New’, while Xi was skipped because it is a common surname in China.

Some have accused the WHO of skipping Xi in order not to offend Chinese leader Xi Jinping.

“We’ve had the business since 2008 and it’s been around for 25 years, so we’re known all over the Southeast. We hope we don’t have to change the name.

‘It’s our web address and email address. We have to spell it forever for people because they use the name wrong all the time.

“We hope they are right now, after correcting people for the past 13 years.”

Despite this, he has not witnessed a decline in trade.

Mr Loveridge continued: ‘There has been no impact so far and we’ve had a pretty busy day.

“If people thought it came from us and that we started it, maybe we should consider changing the name.

“We have current and former customers who contact us and say, ‘Isn’t that strange that they chose your name?’ The phone just came on.’

Omicron is the 15th letter of the Greek alphabet – which the World Health Organization has used to categorize new variants of concern for Covid.

At the start of the pandemic, the organization pushed for a change in the use of country names, warning that this could lead to countries being “stigmatized.”

Earlier variants such as the Kent species were renamed Alpha, while the current dominant species, the Indian variant, was changed to Delta.

The previous variant was Mu. But the WHO decided to skip the next two, Nu and Xi, and move on to Omicron.

According to the WHO, Nu was skipped because it was too easily confused with ‘New’, while Xi was skipped because it is a common surname in China.

Tube mask crackdown begins: Enforcers order commuters to wear face coverings

The crackdown on mask-flabbers in London started today when Tube officials threatened to fine non-compliant commuters £200 if they refuse to cover their faces.

Under Covid restrictions that came into effect at 4am this morning, face masks are again mandatory on public transport, in shops and institutions such as banks, post offices and hairdressers in England.

Those caught breaking the restrictions will be fined £200 for a first offense, which will double for each subsequent offense to a maximum of £6,400.

While many London commuters wore face masks on their way to work this morning, many others in packed carriages chose to ignore the law.

Some Transport for London officials reprimanded mask-takers and urged them to hide as they warned they would be fined if caught again breaking the restriction.

TfL wrote on Twitter: ‘You must wear a face covering on all our services unless exempt. Our officers will continue to enforce the requirement, including reintroducing powers for TfL and police to issue £200 fines for first offence.’

Some have accused the WHO of skipping Xi in order not to offend Chinese leader Xi Jinping.

Omicron Reprographics wouldn’t be the first company to face calls to change its name.

Corona beer denied it would change brands in the wake of the pandemic.

As the militant terrorist group ISIS rose to prominence, several companies, bands and a translation agency had to change their names to distance themselves.

It comes as the new head of NHS Test and Trace today warned Britons not to socialize before Christmas ‘unless necessary’ after Scotland announced three more cases of the Omicron super-strain, bringing the UK’s total to 14 is coming.

dr. Jenny Harries, one of No10’s chief health experts, gave the stark warning when she admitted vaccines are likely to be less effective against the strain, which she says could have a “significant impact on our hospitals.”

She hinted that working from home could be the next measure to be reintroduced as the outbreak starts to grow, adding: “If we see spikes, working from home is a good thing to do.”

The government’s new rules on face masks and self-isolation to slow the spread of the variant came into effect in England from 4am this morning, which mandate covers are worn on public transport, in shops, beauty salons and hairdressers.

But London’s Labor Mayor Sadiq Khan today urged people in the capital to wear face masks in pubs and restaurants, deviating from No10’s own guidelines.

Nationally, restrictions are to be reviewed again in three weeks, meaning Britons could be stabbed with last minute curbs a few days before Christmas.

Boris Johnson will hold a press conference in Downing Street this afternoon at 4pm to provide an update on the Covid situation and set out the series of measures deployed this morning to tackle the variant.

The prime minister this morning defended England’s new coronavirus rules, which he says are “proportionate and accountable”.

“The measures that come into force today are proportionate and responsible, and will give us time in light of this new variant,” he said.

“Vaccines and boosters remain our best line of defense, so it’s more important than ever for people to come forward when they qualify for a boost.”

The number of Omicron cases identified in the UK has now reached 14 after Scotland announced three more this morning, bringing the total to nine, while England has discovered five.

Britain yesterday expanded its current booster rollout to all adults over the age of 18. While the vaccines are expected to be much weaker against Omicron, it is hoped that ramping up everyone’s immunity to very high levels will provide an additional line of defense against the incoming wave.

Head of Moderna warns ‘it will be MONTHS’ before there is a specific jab to Omicron. to fight

Covid vaccine maker Moderna warned today it will take months to develop an Omicron-specific booster jab Scotland discovered three more cases of the mutated strain and Boris Johnson is preparing to provide an update on the variant at a press conference in Downing Street.

Stephane Bancel, chief executive of Massachusetts-based Moderna, said he expects the highly developed strain of the coronavirus to cause a “material drop” in the effectiveness of existing vaccines, and warns the outcome “will not be good.”

He warned that it will take until the summer of 2022 for Moderna to develop a new vaccine and scale production to vaccinate entire populations.

Scientists say it will take two weeks to really work out how effective stings are against Omicron, which has twice as many mutations on its spike protein as Delta.

The strain is expected to make current vaccines significantly weaker at preventing infections, but it’s less clear how it will affect hospitalizations and deaths.

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