Great Britain
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Third case of new Omicron Covid variant confirmed in UK

A THIRD case of the Omicron Covid-19 variant has been confirmed in the UK, in a person who visited London but has since left the country, the UK Health Security Agency said.

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) said the individual tested positive for the Covid-19 variant after travelling to the UK and it is linked to travel to southern Africa.

It said the individual is no longer in the UK, but targeted testing is being carried out at locations the person visited when they were likely to have been infectious.

It added that while in the UK, the individual was in Westminster, central London.

Read more: Mandatory face masks among new Covid rules

On Saturday, it was announced facemasks will become mandatory for indoor public places and transport, he announced at a press conference on Saturday evening. 

All travellers to UK must take a PCR test and self isolate until they receive a negative result.

Meanwhile, a rule of mandatory self isolation at home for ten days for everyone in contact with a positive case will also be enforced. 

Dr Jenny Harries, chief executive of UKHSA, said: “Our advanced sequencing capabilities enable us to find variants and take rapid action to limit onward spread.

"It is very likely that we will find more cases over the coming days, as we are seeing in other countries globally and as we increase case detection through focused contact tracing.

“We are continuing our efforts to understand the effect of this variant on transmissibility, severe disease, mortality, antibody response and vaccine efficacy.

Read more: All you need to know about the new Omicron Covid variant

“It’s critical that anyone with Covid-19 symptoms isolates and gets a PCR test immediately.

“Vaccination is critical to help us bolster our defences against this new variant – please get your first, second or booster jab without delay.

“Wear a mask in crowded places, including public transport and shops, to ensure we all help break the chains of transmission and slow the spread of this new variant.”

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