By Rachael Grealish
Following confirmation the new Omicron COVID-19 variant had been found in the UK, the Prime Minister announced new temporary and precautionary measures for the country.
From today, Monday November 29, face coverings are back for shoppers and travellers must take a day 2 PCR test.
The full list of new restrictions are:
- All international arrivals must take a Day 2 PCR test and self-isolate until they receive a negative result.
- All contacts of suspected Omicron cases must self-isolate, regardless of their vaccination status. They will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace.
- Face coverings will be made compulsory in shops and on public transport. All hospitality settings will be exempt.
In a press conference Boris Johnson called this decision the ‘responsible course of action’ in combatting this new variant.
He said: “Right now this is the responsible course of action, to slow down the seeding and the spread of this new variant, and to maximise our defences so we protect the gains we have worked so hard for and so that we can continue to save lives.”
At the time of the conference the PM confirmed there were two cases of the new variant identified in the UK.
Early indications suggest this variant may be more transmissible than the Delta variant and current vaccines may be less effective against it.
However, work is still underway to fully understand this variant.
Along with this travel restrictions are now in place to slow the spread and fro, Sunday, November 28,South Africa, Botswana, Lesostho, Eswatini, Zimbabwe and Namibi, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia, and Angola will be added to the UK’s travel red list.