A new SARS-CoV-2 variant, first identified in Botswana and South Africa, had been detected in the Uk on the 26th of November. There are a total number of 14 confirmed Omicron cases in England. Very little is known about how the new variant acts or if it is more dangerous than previous variants like Delta. Health experts are still investigating but advise us to proceed with caution.

Many new measures have been put into place in response to the new variant, which has been listed on the government website:

-Face coverings are compulsory in shops and settings such as banks, post offices and hairdressers, as well as on public transport unless individuals are exempt from doing so. 

-All international arrivals must take a PCR test by the end of the second day after arrival and self-isolate until they receive a negative result. 

-All contacts of suspected Omicron cases must self-isolate, regardless of their age or vaccination status. They will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace.

These new measures are only temporary and are to be reviewed three weeks from now. These measures aim to slow down the spread of Omicron and give us enough time to find out more about this variant and how to fight it.