Omicron: Professor outlines symptoms of new covid variant
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The Omicron variant is wreaking havoc around the world, as the new variant sparks a surge in infections. In the UK, however, health secretary Sajid Javid reported an estimated 200,000 cases of the variant alone on Monday.
The variant is reported to make up around 40 percent of cases in London.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), Omicron is the fastest spreading variant yet.
President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen said: “By mid-January, we should expect Omicron to be the new dominant variant in Europe.”
This sparked panic from France, which closed its borders to UK tourists.
According to French Government spokesperson Gabriel Attal, travellers will have to have a compelling reason to be allowed to enter France.
This includes returning citizens and legal residents, as well as those travelling for “essential” reasons.
People entering the country from the UK will have to isolate at a location they choose and their isolation will end 48 hours after if they show a negative test.
But how likely are other EU countries to follow suit?
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Spain has not yet made any comment on banning Britons from the country.
As of December 15, Spain recorded 27,140 new cases of coronavirus.
On Thursday, the nation detected its first community case of omicron in Madrid.
Spain is currently only allowing fully vaccinated UK arrivals to enter the country unless travelling for “essential” purposes.
The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) states: “You must show proof of being fully vaccinated (with both doses of a two-dose vaccine or one dose of a one-dose vaccine) at least 14 days prior to arrival in Spain (date(s) of vaccination must be specified).”
At the time of writing, Germany has not announced any rules on banning UK arrivals.
As of December 15, 2021, Germany recorded 56,902 new cases of COVID-19 according to the latest data from Johns Hopkins University.
Just one day later, Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach announced a shortage in vaccine supplies.
He told German public broadcaster ARD on Tuesday evening: “It’s true that we have too few doses.
“That surprised many of us following the audit, myself included.”
Currently, travellers aged 12 or over entering Germany from abroad must possess either proof of vaccination, or proof of recovery, or a negative COVID-19 test prior to arrival and present this proof on request to carriers or authorities.
The FCDO states: “Germany will accept the UK’s proof of COVID-19 recovery and vaccination record.”
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Italy has ramped up travel restrictions in recent days but has not yet banned Britons from travelling to the country.
On December 14, health ministry consultant Walter Ricciardi said a more infectious Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus is likely in Italy.
He told a local news publication: “It is presumable that the behaviour of the Omicron variant will be the same in our country, with a strong growth in cases.
“The variant’s growth trend is in fact proving to be similar in all countries, but we still don’t have certain data insofar as we are doing less sequencing than others.”
According to the latest data from Johns Hopkins University, there were 23,190 new cases of coronavirus detected.
Italy is allowing fully vaccinated arrivals from the UK to enter without quarantine, but they must also show evidence of a negative Covid test.
Unvaccinated arrivals must also show evidence of a negative Covid test and self-isolate for five days.
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