Eight more cases of the Omicron variant found taking UK total to 22

30 November 2021, 15:55 | Updated: 30 November 2021, 16:55

More cases of the Omicron variant have been detected in England
More cases of the Omicron variant have been detected in England. Picture: Alamy

By Will Taylor

Eight more cases of the Omicron variant have been detected in the UK.

The new cases in England takes the total amount in the UK to 22.

The Health Security Agency has now found 13 in England, with all cases and their contacts isolating. Nine have already been detected in Scotland.

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Confirmed cases have been identified in the East Midlands, the East of England, London and the North West.

Officials said individuals who have tested positive and their contacts are all isolating.

Work is under way to identify any links to travel to southern Africa, the UKHSA said.

It added that there were now two cases in Barnet, one in Brentwood, two in Camden, one in Haringey, one in Liverpool, one in north Norfolk, one in Nottingham, one in Sutton, another in Wandsworth and two in Westminster.

Dr Jenny Harries, chief executive of UKHSA, said: "We are continuing our efforts to understand the effect of this variant on transmissibility, severe disease, mortality, antibody response and vaccine efficacy.

"Vaccination is critical to help us bolster our defences against this new variant - please get your first, second, third or booster jab without delay."

She added: "Following the change in JCVI advice yesterday, a booster dose for everyone over 18 years is now recommended at a minimum of three months from your last primary course jab.

"Please take up this offer as soon as you are invited to protect yourself, your families and your communities.

"Please make sure to wear a mask in line with government guidance, including on public transport and in shops, to help break the chains of transmission and slow the spread of this new variant.

"It is very likely that we will find more cases over the coming days as we are seeing in other countries globally and as we increase case detection through focused contact tracing.

"That's why it's critical that anyone with Covid-19 symptoms isolates and gets a PCR test immediately."

It comes as MPs supported regulations for the mandatory use of face coverings in shops and on public transport in England on Tuesday.

The measure was approved by 434 votes to 23, majority 411.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced the Government is aiming to offer a booster vaccine to all adults by the end of January.