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UK reintroduces masks and PCR to travelers to combat omicron variant

The British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, announced this Saturday new restrictions to combat the omicron variant of the coronavirus, including wearing a mask in shops and on public transport and having all travelers undergo a PCR test, and not for antigens, upon arrival in the UK.

The Conservative leader, who before the summer lifted all limitations in England, stressed, in a press conference, the importance of “gain time”, minimizing infections, until experts determine the effect of the new variant, which, he said, “Seems to spread very quickly” and “among people with the complete vaccination schedule ”.

Johnson emphasized that his Government “is not going to ban travel”, but from now on, and at least until these regulations are revised in three weeks, vaccinated people who arrive on British territory will have to undergo a PCR test before the end. of the second day of their stay and remain isolated until they receive a negative result.

Until now, those vaccinated from authorized territories only had to undergo an antigen test. Apart from this change, the regulations remain the same for non-immunized people. All positive cases are to be confined for ten days.

Relatives and relatives of those who test positive for the omicron variant will have to quarantine whether or not they are vaccinated, Johnson said in his appearance from Downing Street.

At the same time, “the rules on masks in shops and on public transport will be toughened,” as well as other closed spaces – although not in the hospitality industry – which will be mandatory rather than voluntary as currently in England, he said.

The head of the Government pointed out that, although it is not known how effective the vaccines against the new variant will be, it is believed that they will “offer protection” especially to avoid becoming seriously ill, for which he urged everyone to take the dose of reinforcement as soon as they receive the appointment.

The British health authorities detected on Wednesday in the United Kingdom two cases of people carrying the omicron variant of the coronavirus, connected with each other and with South Africa -where this type was initially detected-, who are now quarantining, the Minister of Health reported today , Sajid Javid.

Javid said that the infections have been identified in the town of Chelmsford, in the county of Essex, near London, and in the city of Nottingham, in central England.

The minister announced that another four countries will be included in the list of territories whose inhabitants, as of 4 GMT on Sunday, cannot travel to the United Kingdom (unless they are British nationals, who must quarantine in a designated hotel), until a total of ten.

On Friday, the government redlisted South Africa – where the new variant was originally detected – Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho and Eswatini, now joined by Angola, Mozambique, Malawi and Zambia.



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