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Britain counts about 160 Omicron cases and tightens restrictions

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As the number of confirmed cases of the Omicron coronavirus variant rose to 160 in Britain, the government announced on Saturday further tightening of travel restrictions to combat its spread.

Starting Tuesday, travelers will be required to take a coronavirus test within 48 hours of traveling to Britain, regardless of their vaccination status, and restrictions placed on travelers from Nigeria. said the country’s health secretary in a statement. Nigeria announced on Wednesday that it had discovered the variant in three passengers who arrived from South Africa in November, according to Dr. Ifedayo Adetifa, general director of the Nigeria Centers for Disease Control.

The two additional measures imposed by Britain are the latest to come after a week of heightened concern that led to the introduction of a number of restrictions aimed at slowing down the penetration of the Omicron variant.

At the moment, travelers are required to isolate themselves and take the coronavirus test on the second day upon arrival. If the test is negative, they can end the isolation. If not, they are expected to stay in isolation until they get a negative result.

There are now 160 confirmed cases of the Omicron variant across the UK, the British Health Insurance Agency confirmed on Saturday, out of 134 cases reported by the agency on Friday. Britain is considered the leader in genomic ranking and testing, with a well-run national program to track coronavirus mutations, so there is an advantage in tracking spread variants.

We have been keeping records under review for the past week or so since we learned about Omicron, said Sajid Javid, the country’s health secretary, during a news conference. And they were seeing a growing number of travel-related cases.

He stressed that the new control measures are temporary, but added that before we learn more about Omicron, it is right for us to have these measures.

Mr Javid was also clear that the government was advising the British public to continue living as usual by adhering to coronavirus guidelines.

People need to go ahead with their plans and make plans to enjoy Christmas as usual, he said.

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2/ https://www.nytimes.com/2021/12/04/world/britain-omicron-cases-restrictions.html

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