Eight things we learned from the Number 10 briefing on Omicron

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Orris Johnson joins Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty and Sir Patrick Vallance, Chief Scientific Adviser, for a Downing Street press conference on Saturday following the emergence of the Omicron coronavirus variant in the UK.

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Here, the PA news agency highlights eight main things it learned from the press briefing:

1. Face masks will be mandatory in shops and on public transport in England from next week.


2. Anyone entering the UK from any destination will have to undergo a PCR test two days after arrival and self-isolate until a negative result comes in.

3. Anyone who has been in close contact with a case of Omicron will have to self-isolate for 10 days, regardless of vaccination status.

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4. The new measures will be reviewed within three weeks.

5. The two cases discovered in the UK were part of a single outbreak and are in Essex and Nottingham.

6. Omicron can be spread among people who have been double vaccinated.

The 7. variant has a “widespread” mutation which means it could “at least partially” reduce the vaccine’s safety over time, the PM said.

8. Omicron “really changes the risk/benefit calculation” for the Joint Committee on Immunization and Immunization regarding recommending vaccines to young children, meaning children under 12 may soon be eligible .


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