Two cases of the Omicron variant have been detected in the United Kingdom, the country’s Secretary of State for Health Sajid Javid said on Saturday.
Javid tweeted that the two cases were linked and that there was a connection with travel to southern Africa.
“These individuals are self-isolating with their households while further testing and contact tracing is underway,” he added.
The Health Secretary said targeted testing would be rolled out in the affected areas (of Nottingham and Chelmsford) as well as sequencing of all positive cases.
Javid said Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Angola would be added to the UK’s travel red list, effective from 4 a.m. Sunday.
“If you have returned from there in the last 10 days you must isolate and get PCR tests,” his tweet said.
A country being on the “red list” means that UK residents, as well as British and Irish nationals arriving home from that red list point of departure, must undergo a 10-day hotel quarantine at their own expense.