Omicron is now in UK and possibly Germany
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
The new COVID variant Omicron has been detected in the UK. Health officials announced Saturday that the variant has been found in cases in Chelmsford, Essex, and in Nottingham. All were connected to travel in southern Africa. Prime Minister Boris Johnson will hold a press conference at Downing Street later today to provide further details.
Also on Saturday, German officials announced they were investigating a suspected case of Omicron in a person who had just returned from South Africa.
The World Health Organization has deemed Omicron a “variant of concern,” its most severe category. Omicron contains several spike protein mutations that may make it less responsive to COVID-19 vaccines. There are also signs it may be more contagious than other variants. Health officials around the world are scrambling to try to conduct further research on Omicron, as well as contain its spread.
The worrisome new variant was first reported by South Africa on Nov. 24. Thus far, it has also been detected in Botswana, Belgium, Hong Kong, Israel and now the UK.
Citing the need to take precautions until more is known about the variant, President Biden announced travel restrictions from several African countries on Friday. As of Nov. 29, flights from South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique and Malawi will be blocked. Only U.S. citizens and residents will be allowed to travel from the region.
Featured image by Getty Images
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card account anniversary. Plus, earn an additional Free Night Award after you spend $60K in purchases on your Card in a calendar year. Awards can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy points) at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program.
- Limited Time Offer: Earn 125,000 Marriott Bonvoy Bonus Points after spending $5,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 8/31/22.
- 6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program.
- 4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
- 2x points on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive a 7% discount off standard rates for reservations of standard guest rooms at hotels that participate in the Marriott Bonvoy program when you book directly. Terms and Conditions Apply.
- Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month. Plus, earn an additional Free Night Award after you spend $60K in purchases on your Card in a calendar year. Awards can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy points) at a participating hotel. Certain hotels have resort fees.
- Enjoy Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status with your Card.
- Terms apply.
- See Rates & Fees