Omicron variant: Three more cases identified in Scotland taking UK total to 14

30 November 2021, 08:05 | Updated: 30 November 2021, 15:13

Three more cases of Omicron have been detected in Scotland.
Three more cases of Omicron have been detected in Scotland. Picture: Alamy

By Sophie Barnett

Three more cases of the Omicron Covid-19 variant have been found in Scotland, the Scottish government has confirmed.

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This takes the total number of UK Omicron cases to 14 - with nine detected in Scotland, one in Nottingham, one in Essex and three in London.

The Scottish Health Secretary Humza Yousaf said on Tuesday there is "no known link" to either Cop26, or the Scotland vs South Africa rugby match.

The new cases come as restrictions are tightened in the UK, to curb the spread of the "worrying" new variant.

Professor Jonathan Van Tam, speaking at a Downing Street press briefing on Monday, said scientists agree this variant is of "increased concern" and are uncertain on how transmissible it is and whether it causes more severe disease.

Read more: New face mask and travel rules will 'buy us time' against Omicron variant, PM says

Read more: Omicron rules explained: Where to wear face masks and who has to self-isolate

He told reporters that the "number of mutations present, already on first principle, makes us worry about a possible effect on vaccine effectiveness" but he expects the picture to become clearer in three weeks - when the new measures will be reviewed.

From 4am on Tuesday shoppers need to wear a covering over their nose and mouth in stores and commuters on public transport have to mask up, unless exempt.

Arrivals to the UK have to isolate and take a PCR test by the end of day two in the country, remaining in quarantine until they get a negative result.

Read more: All adults to be offered Covid booster jab to fight Omicron variant

Anyone who is considered a contact of an Omicron case must also self-isolate regardless of their age or if they are fully-vaccinated.

Boris Johnson said these new measures will "buy us time" in the face of the new variant, as he urged everyone to get vaccinated.

In addition to the raft of new measures, the government's booster vaccination programme is being expanded to all adults.

Third doses will be available at least three months after the second one, the JCVI has announced.

Teenagers aged between 12 and 15 will also be offered a second jab.

While Health Secretary Sajid Javid announced in the Commons on Tuesday that severely immunosuppressed people will be given access to another booster - meaning for some, a fourth dose.

This story is being updated