Laws requiring masks in shops and on public transport are set to stay until the New Year, as ministers try to fend off demands for tougher restrictions in the run up to Christmas.
Emergency regulations last week reintroduced mandatory masks until December 21 to help slow the spread of the Omicron variant.
A final decision on whether to extend their use may not be taken until as late as December 18.
But Whitehall sources said it was likely masks would stay mandatory for at least another three weeks to give scientists more time to assess the threat posed by Omicron.
Other restrictions, such as travel tests and compulsory ten-day quarantine for those in close contact with an Omicron case, are also set to be extended.
However, sources said Boris Johnson is resisting pressure to move to the Government’s Plan B until at least the New Year.
Read more: We’ll be wearing masks until the new year (Oh, really? Some of us won’t): Fascist ‘Covid’ rules set to be extended in bid to fend off even tougher curbs (all planned to happen anyway you psychopathic liars) amid ongoing concerns over fake made-up Moronic variant