The new variant of Covid-19 is now being passed between people in the UK, the government confirmed in an update titled ‘Regarding’ by health service groups.
In a statement in the House of Commons yesterday, Health and Social Affairs Secretary Sajid Javid said there were new cases of the Omicron variant “unrelated to international travel”, meaning that the variant is now spreading via “community transmission through several parts of England”.
“The government must be prepared to put in place tighter restrictions if and when necessary”
He said a recent analysis by the UK Health Safety Agency (UKHSA) had suggested that the “window between infection and infectivity may be shorter” for the Omicron variant than the Delta variant.
However, Mr Javid said there was still a “complete picture” missing as to whether Omicron was causing “more serious disease” or how it interacted with the vaccine, so “we cannot say for sure at this point whether Omicron has the potential to knock us out of our way to recover â.
He confirmed that the latest number of Omicron cases now stands at 336 in the UK, which falls into 261 in England, 71 in Scotland and four in Wales, with Northern Ireland not being confirmed.
Responding to the Covid-19 update, NHS Deputy Provider General Saffron Cordery said: âIt is concerning that we now have community transmission of the Omicron variant with 336 confirmed cases in several parts of the country. UK.
âAs the Secretary of Health said, there is still a lot we don’t know about Omicron, including the gap between infection and infection of others, and the severity of it. this strain.
âPending further information, it is important that we all continue to play our part to contain Covid-19 by taking vaccines when offered, following self-isolation rules, using flow tests sideways and wearing a mask, especially in crowded areas. and interior spaces, as well as room ventilation. “
She called on the government to be ready “to put in place tighter restrictions if and when necessary”, adding: “It will be absolutely critical in the weeks to come”.
Mr Javid also announced a new travel restriction which goes into effect today.
People traveling to the UK from countries not on the red list must show proof of a negative Covid-19 test or a lateral flow test. This applies to anyone over 12 years old, vaccinated or not.