Scientists and experts have been working tirelessly to track and understand the new mutation that is spreading across the globe. The new Omicron variant has caused the UK to impose travel bans to and from certain countries which have been added to the redlist. And the government has also imposed quarantine stays at Covid hotels for those coming back to the UK. Fears of cases rising are prevalent as the UK recorded 246 and growing BBC Breakfast sat down with Professor of Medicine Paul Hunter to discuss what the situation will be in a few weeks for Brits.
Professor Hunter said: “We might not really get much more of an idea until after Christmas sadly.”
When it comes to the Delta variant and the new Omicron variant, in order to track the differences between both Mr Hunter said: “If we’re going to look at cases in this country we’ve got to have enough cases to actually analyse and see whether they are getting more sick or not.”
He added: “And when we get that we will probably have 7,000 cases.
“We probably already got more than a thousand cases in the UK at the moment and it is increasing.”
Last week the UK government imposed mandatory facemasks in public places such as transport and shopping, discussing the new variant Omicron Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “I think what we’re doing is responding to the pandemic.
“We were the first country in the world to take decisive measures to tackle Omicron.”
“We put about 10 countries automatically, immediately, onto the red list and we said that anybody coming from any country in the world would have to quarantine for a couple of days.”
Many UK travellers who wanted to travel to African countries like Nigeria which has recently been put on the red list are furious. Arrivals coming from red list countries will now have to quarantine in a hotel for up to 10 days.
Prices for the quarantine hotel have increased since August from around £1,430 to an estimated £2,285 for a single adult.
Mr Johnson added: “I don’t think we need to change the overall guidance and advice we’re giving about Omicron in this country.”
Health Secretary Sajid Javid took to Twitter to discuss the update to the UK’s red list, Mr Javid said: “Over recent days we have learned of a significant number of growing cases linked to travel with Nigeria,.
“In light of the most recent data, we are taking further action to slow the incursion of the Omicron variant.
Mr Javid added: “From 4 am Monday, the only UK/Irish citizens & residents travelling from Nigeria will be allowed entry and must isolate in a managed quarantine facility.
“And from 4am Tuesday, anyone travelling to the UK from countries, not on the Red List will be required to take a pre-departure test, regardless of their vaccination status.”