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News > United Kingdom

UK Summons G7 Health Ministers Over COVID-19 Variant Omicron

  • COVID-19: UK Convenes G7 Health Ministers Meeting to Discuss Omicron Variant as Third Case Found in UK

    COVID-19: UK Convenes G7 Health Ministers Meeting to Discuss Omicron Variant as Third Case Found in UK | Photo: Twitter @InstantNewsPk

Published 29 November 2021

The UK has already placed ten African countries on its red travel list due to the new strain of COVID-19 recognized by the World Health Organisation as "a variant of concern."

The UK Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has announced that "an urgent meeting of G7 health ministers will be convened" later on Monday "to discuss the developments on Omicron," a new variant of the coronavirus.


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The gathering comes after a third Omicron case was recently confirmed in Britain, when an individual tested positive after traveling to London.

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) said that a person who visited the country had links to southern Africa. That targeted testing is now being conducted in places the individual visited.

The Agency chief executive Jenny Harries argued that "it is very likely that we will find more cases over the coming days as we are seeing in other countries globally and as we increase case detection through focused contact tracing."

She insisted that vaccination is "critical" to the Agency's work in bolstering its "defences against this new variant", urging people to wear face coverings in crowded places, including public transport and shops, "to ensure we all help break the chains of transmission and slow the spread" of Omicron.

The remarks came after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced new measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 following the detection of two cases of the Omicron strain in the UK. 

Speaking at a Downing Street briefing on Saturday, Johnson said that those arriving in Britain would now have to take a PCR test for the coronavirus on the second day and self-isolate until they have received a negative test result. According to Johnson, anyone who tests positive with a suspected case of the new variant is obliged to self-isolate for ten days, regardless of their vaccination status.

The prime minister also confirmed the reintroduction of face masks on public transport and shops, adding that they will not be required in hospitality venues. He stressed that the new measures would be "temporary and precautionary" and that they would be reviewed in three weeks.


Boris Johnson
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