Two cases of the Omicron coronavirus variant has been detected in the UK, the health secretary Sajid Javid has said.
Late last night I was contacted by the UK Health Security Agency. I was informed that they have detected two cases of this new variant, Omicron, in the United Kingdom. One in Chelmsford, the other in Nottingham,” he said in a broadcast clip.
He said the two cases are linked and that further contact tracing is under way.
The two cases are also both linked back to South Africa.
The individuals and all members of their households have been ordered to self-isolate after one case was detected in Chelmsford, Essex, and the other in Nottingham.
The new strain of Covid has sparked concern across the globe because of an apparent high re-infection risk.
A press conference with Prime Minister Boris Johnson will be held in the UK later today to set out further measures.
Meanwhile Mozambique, Zambia, Angola, and Malawi are being added to the UK’s travel red list from 4am on Sunday.
More to follow