| 26 May 2024, Sunday |

New Omicron travel rules come into force in UK

As new measures to curb the spread of the Omicron form go into force, visitors to the UK must produce confirmation of a negative Covid test before they fly.

Contacts of a suspected Omicron case must already self-isolate for 10 days, including those who have been completely vaccinated.

In the UK, there are presently 336 confirmed instances of the new strain.

Sajid Javid, the Health Secretary, has acknowledged that Omicron is spreading in the community across England.

On Monday, he told MPs that the mutation was spreading “here and over the world” and that there were people in the UK who tested positive for Omicron “with no ties to foreign travel.”

People travelling in the UK were already required to self-isolate until they had a negative PCR test on day two.

With the implementation of the government’s new regulations, all travelers aged 12 and above will be required to present confirmation of a negative PCR or lateral flow test – even if fully vaccinated – before departing.

It must be taken no more than 48 hours before leaving for the UK, and only private test providers may be utilized – no free NHS lateral flow kits are permitted.

Given the amount and variety of mutations found in Omicron, scientists are concerned about how it could interact with current immunizations.

There have been 261 confirmed occurrences of the variation in England, 71 in Scotland, and four in Wales, with Northern Ireland yet to have a verified case.