UK orders isolation for new arrivals to fight Omicron COVID variant

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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Saturday announced “temporary and precautionary” new rules to tackle the spread of the “monstrous” new Omicron version of the coronavirus.

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Speaking at a gloomy and abruptly called press conference, Johnson and his top medical aides All new UK ordered Arrival on British soil to self-isolate until a negative PCR test is received.

Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during a news conference in London on November 27, 2021.
AP. via Holly Adams / Pool
A 'Stay Safe' sign in Regent Street in London, Friday, 26 November 2021.
Johnson and his top medical aides ordered all new UK arrivals to self-isolate until a negative PCR test is received on British soil.
AP Photo / Alberto Pezzali
Two cases of the Omicron Covid variant have been identified in the UK
Two cases of the Omicron COVID-19 variant have been identified in the UK.
In pictures via Getty Images

The rule comes on top of a ban on all flights from a growing list of countries in southern Africa. On Friday, the UK banned travel from South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Eswatini, Zimbabwe and Namibia. Four more countries will be added to the red list later this week, Health Secretary Sajid Javid said on Saturday: Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Angola.

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For those already living in the UK, all close contacts of people who have tested positive for the Omicron variant must self-isolate for 10 days, Johnson said – whether they have received COVID jabs and boosters – and face mask will be made mandatory Again on public transport and in shops, but not in restaurants.

A man waits at the International Arrivals Lounge at Heathrow Airport in London, Friday, November 26, 2021.
A man waits in the International Arrivals Lounge at Heathrow Airport in London on November 26, 2021.
AP Photo / Alberto Pezzali
Nurse Amanda Sherwood administers a COVID-19 vaccine to Rachel McDowell (16) at the Just the Jab Pop Up vaccination center at Kinspan Ulster Rugby Stadium in Belfast.  Photograph date: Saturday November 27, 2021.
A nurse delivers the COVID-19 vaccine on November 27, 2021.
PA Images via Getty Images

“We don’t know how effective our vaccines will be” against the new version that has been spreading rapidly in southern Africa in recent days. johnson said,

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“But we have good reasons to believe that they will provide at least some protection,” he said.

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