Boris Johnson to hold a 5pm press conference TONIGHT

·1-min read
Boris Johnson to hold a 5pm press conference TONIGHT

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is holding a press conference at Downing Street at 5pm on Saturday, following the discovery of two cases of the Covid-19 Omicron variant in the UK.

One case has been detected in Essex and the other in Nottingham.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid said the cases were linked and the two people were self-isolating alongside their households while more tests and contact tracing take place.

Sajid Javid told BBC News: “Today I can announce one thing that we are doing immediately is carrying out targeted testing and sequencing of positive cases in the two areas that are affected.”

The Health Secretary said restrictions would be placed on Angola, Mozambique, Malawi and Zambia. Anyone who had travelled there in the past 10 days should take PCR tests.

England's chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty said: "We will continue to work closely with the international community to quickly gather and analyse information on this variant to understand any possible increase in transmissibility or resistance to vaccines."

The UK is the second European nation to have reported the presence of Omicron after Belgium said it had identified a single case on Friday.

Ministers said non-UK and Irish residents who have been in Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Angola in the previous 10 days will be refused entry into England from 4am on Sunday.

Those who are permitted to return will be ordered to isolate in a Government-approved facility for 10 days.

South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Namibia and Zimbabwe were added to the red list on Friday. The UK also imposed a ban on flights leaving from those nations.

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