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UK takes new measures to slow Omicron coronavirus variant

CoronavirusNov 27, 2021 07:02PM ET
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2/2 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: People wear protective masks as they walk through the city centre, amid the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Manchester, Britain, June 21, 2021. REUTERS/Phil Noble 2/2

By Costas Pitas

LONDON (Reuters) -Britain announced new measures on Saturday to try to slow the spread of the newly identified Omicron coronavirus variant and a top health official said there was a "reasonable chance" that vaccines could be less effective against it.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said arrivals from all countries would have to self-isolate until receiving a negative result from a PCR test, that face masks must be worn in retail settings and it was time to step up booster jabs.

"We need to buy time for our scientists to understand exactly what we are dealing with," he told a news conference.

Johnson said those who had come into contact with people testing positive for a suspected case of Omicron would have to self-isolate for 10 days and that face masks must be worn in shops and on public transport but not restaurants and pubs in England.

England's Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty told the same news conference there was a reasonable chance that the newly identified variant could be less easy to tackle with vaccines.

"There is a reasonable chance that at least there will be some degree of vaccine escape with this variant," he said.

Health minister Sajid Javid confirmed earlier on Saturday the first two cases of the new variant in Britain, saying they were linked to each other and connected to travel to southern Africa.

The two individuals and all members of their households were being re-tested and told to self-isolate while further testing and contact tracing was done.

England will also add Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Angola to its travel "red list" from 0400 GMT on Sunday, meaning British and Irish residents who arrive in the country must quarantine in a government-approved hotel for 10 days. Non-residents will be refused entry.

That list already contained Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe.

UK takes new measures to slow Omicron coronavirus variant
 

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Comments (6)
palmer gossett
palmer gossett Nov 27, 2021 8:35PM ET
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buckle up, this is nothing like what we've seen. vaccines useless for this varient. highly virulent and deadly
taylor jason
taylor jason Nov 27, 2021 8:35PM ET
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any sources confirming what you say? last I heard, it was to soon to say exactly if it's more deadly and if vaccines are completely ineffective against it
Pauline Nguyen
Pauline Nguyen Nov 27, 2021 8:35PM ET
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He is short so he is rooting for most deadly variant. Lol
Erkki Mäntylä
Erkki Mäntylä Nov 27, 2021 8:08PM ET
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monday + 2-3 % indexs up ?
Kaveh Sun
Kaveh Sun Nov 27, 2021 7:41PM ET
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Why WHO skipped Nu, Xi ? Because WHO is in China pocket. China told them better not to name a mutant after their pres
Devin Nathaniel
Devin Nathaniel Nov 27, 2021 7:35PM ET
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America made the virus
palmer gossett
palmer gossett Nov 27, 2021 7:35PM ET
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Dr Fauci oversaw the virus creation with the Chinese
Jack Zydron
Jack Zydron Nov 27, 2021 7:11PM ET
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vaccine is what they need
William Smith
William Smith Nov 27, 2021 2:14PM ET
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We are quickly learning the new variant has already spread across all of sub Sahara Africa. Therefore it I'd likely weeks if not months old and has spread around the world already. Now ready yourself for the next new variant as it is coming likely sooner than you think.
 
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