The British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, announced this Saturday new restrictions to combat the omicron variant of the coronavirus, including wearing a mask in stores and public transport and having vaccinated travelers undergo a PCR test, instead of one of antigens, upon arrival in the UK.
The new rules announced by the prime minister add the requirement of isolation pending a negative result, significantly tightening the regimen, in an attempt to slow the spread of the new strain.
At a press conference, the Conservative leader, who before the summer he lifted all the limitations in England, underlined the importance of “buying time”, minimizing infections, until experts determine the effect of the new variant, which, he said, “It seems to spread very quickly” and “between people with the full vaccination schedule.”
“I am very hopeful that we will discover that we have a strong position against the virus and that we can lift these measures again ”, Johnson said, promising a review in three weeks, before Christmas.
“But in this moment this is a responsible course of action “he said, vowing to protect British hopes for the Christmas celebrations, as he indicated no more closings would come at the national level.
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.
The relatives and friends of those who give positive with the omicron variant they will have to quarantine whether or not they are vaccinatedJohnson said in his appearance from Downing Street.
At the same time, “the rules on masks in stores and on public transport“In addition to other enclosed 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” above all 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 have detected in the United Kingdom two cases of people carrying the omicron variant of the coronavirus, which they are now doing quarantine, the Minister of Health reported today, Sajid Javid.
Javid specified 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 four other countries will be included in the list of territories whose inhabitantsThey cannot travel to the UK as of 4 GMT on Sunday (unless they are British nationals, who must quarantine at a designated hotel), up to a total of ten.
On Friday, the Government included in the red list South Africa -where the new variant was originally detected-, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho and Eswatini, now joined by Angola, Mozambique, Malawi and Zambia.
With information from AFP and EFE
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