Fri. Jan 21st, 2022

The UK has registered 86 new cases of Omicron Covid variant, as a top researcher warns that travel bans come too late.

The UK’s total number of Omicron cases is now at 246.

The government has reintroduced COVID-19 testing before departure for travelers returning to the UK, saying travel is one of the reasons the new variant is spreading.

The UK has introduced new travel restrictions in the wake of the emergence of the Omicron variant. (AP)

New arrivals must show proof of a negative test taken no more than 48 hours before their departure.

However, one of Britain’s own pandemic advisers has warned “the horse is bolted” and measures to keep Omicron out of the UK are coming too late.

Professor Mark Woolhouse told the BBC that Community transmission would drive the next wave of Omicron cases.
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He warned that although Britain’s numbers of Omicron cases were currently quite small, it was spreading rapidly.

Nevertheless, the British government has said at this point that the country will remain open until Christmas.

In Australia, Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews has said the state will not close its borders because of the Omicron variant.

Yesterday, 15 cases of the new variant were registered in New South Wales.

“Victorians can look forward to the next few weeks leading up to Christmas with a genuine sense of confidence,” Andrews said.

“We will not pursue an ‘Omicron zero’ here.

“I do not think it makes any sense.”

Andrews said evidence had suggested that although Omicron was more contagious, it was a milder strain of the virus.

He said he had sent text messages to NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet regularly and that both Premiers were working to keep COVID-19 restrictions the same in Victorian and NSW.

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