January 20, 2022

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UK orders isolation for new arrivals to fight Omicron COVID variant – New York Post

2 min read

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Saturday announced a raft of “temporary and precautionary” new rules to combat the spread of the “monstrous” new Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

Speaking in a somber and abruptly called press conference, Johnson and his top medical aides ordered all new UK arrivals to self-isolate until they receive a negative PCR test on British soil.

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during a press conference in London, Saturday Nov. 27, 2021.
Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during a news conference in London on Nov. 27, 2021.
Hollie Adams/Pool via AP
A sign reading 'Stay safe' in Regent Street, in London, Friday, Nov. 26, 2021.
Johnson and his top medical aides ordered all new UK arrivals to self-isolate until they receive a negative PCR test on British soil.
AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali
two cases of 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 called a halt on travel from South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Eswatini, Zimbabwe and Namibia. Four more nations will be added to the red list this weekend, Health Secretary Sajid Javid said Saturday: Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Angola.

For those already in Britain, all close contacts of people who test positive for the Omicron variant must self-isolate for 10 days, Johnson said — whether or not they have received COVID jabs and boosters — and face masks will be made mandatory again on public transportation and in stores, but not in restaurants.

A man waits in the International Arrivals lounge, at London's Heathrow Airport, Friday, Nov. 26, 2021.
A man waits in the international arrivals lounge at London’s Heathrow Airport on Nov. 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 centre at Kinspan Ulster Rugby Stadium in Belfast. Picture date: Saturday November 27, 2021.
A nurse administers a COVID-19 vaccine on Nov. 27, 2021.
PA Images via Getty Images

“We don’t know how effective our vaccines will be” against the fast-spreading new variant that emerged in recent days in southern Africa, Johnson said.

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

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