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.
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.
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 .