British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced this Saturday to toughen entry measures into his country in order to slow the spread of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, two cases of which have already been detected in the United Kingdom.
Because of the new variant, “we now have to go one step further and put in place a new testing regime,” the leader said at a press conference, “we will ask anyone entering the UK to take a PCR test “two days after her arrival” and to isolate herself until she has the result “.
Two infected travelers
So far, only antigen testing was requested two days after travelers arrived, and no isolation was required until results. This change comes as the British health authorities confirmed on Saturday that they had identified in the United Kingdom “two cases of Covid-19 comprising mutations compatible with B.1.1.529”.
The two cases are “linked (to each other) and to a trip to southern Africa,” said the statement from the Ministry of Health, published earlier in the day. One of them was detected in the city of Nottingham (central England) and the other in Chelmsford (east of London), said health authorities.
The mask again mandatory in stores
In order to “strengthen our protection against this variant”, Boris Johnson has also announced the return of the compulsory mask in stores, where they were no longer compulsory unlike public transport.
The recall campaign will be “intensified”, he added, although “we do not yet know how effective the vaccine against the Omicron variant will be.” Health authorities will reduce the time needed between the second and third dose, as well as expand the eligible groups as much as possible, he said.
The measures taken, which will be revised every six weeks, “are temporary and cautious,” said the Prime Minister, calling them “a responsible means of action to slow the spread of the virus”.