Coronavirus outbreak: Two linked to travel to Africa

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Coronavirus outbreak: Two linked to travel to Africa

People wear protective masks as they walk through the city centre, amid the outbreak of the coronaviruses COVID - 19 in Manchester, Britain, June 21, 2021. REUTERS Phil Noble

Two linked cases of the new Omicron coronaviruses variant have been detected in Britain linked to travel to southern Africa, health minister Sajid Javid said on Saturday.

Late last night I was contacted by the UK Health Security Agency. I was informed that they have detected two cases of this new variant, Omicron, in the United Kingdom. He said one in Chelmsford and the other in Nottingham.

The health ministry said that the two individuals and all members of their households are being re-tested and told to self-isolate while further testing and contact tracing is done.

The travel red list will add Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Angola to its travel red list from 0400 GMT on Sunday, meaning British and Irish residents who arrive in the country must be quarantined in a government-approved hotel for 10 days. Non-residents will be denied entry.

Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe were already on the list.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chief Scientific Advisor Patrick Vallance and Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty will hold a news conference later on Saturday to set out further measures Javid said.