South African passengers untested, admits Sajid Javid, as England ‘far from’ stricter rules – .

South African passengers untested, admits Sajid Javid, as England ‘far from’ stricter rules – .

Passengers from South Africa have not been tested and “returned home in a normal way”, admits Sajid Javid

Sajid Javid admitted that air passengers from South Africa were not tested when they arrived in the UK on Friday – despite fears they could carry the Omicron variant.

They traveled from airports by normal means – including public transport – and were only asked to take Covid tests and self-isolate if they tested positive, the health secretary said.

Speaking on the BBC The Andrew Marr Show, Mr Javid confirmed that face masks will again be mandatory in stores and on public transport from Tuesday. Day 2 PCR tests for all arrivals will also be reintroduced from 4 a.m. on the same day.

He also revealed that the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization will advise in a few days on extending booster injections to those under 40 and closing the six-month gap after a second injection.

Earlier, the Health Secretary said England was ‘far from’ introducing more stringent Covid restrictions such as social distancing or working from home.

It comes after the first two cases – which are ‘linked’ and have been linked to travel to southern Africa – were located in England on Friday evening.

Follow our live coverage below


Common travel zone exemption from new Covid restrictions welcome

The exemption of the common travel area from the new Covid-19 restrictions against the Omicron variant has been welcomed.
New, more stringent measures, including PCR testing, will be introduced for arrivals in the UK from Tuesday morning.
All contact with a suspected case of Omicron will need to be isolated for 10 days, regardless of vaccination status, as existing jabs will be less effective against the strain thought to be spreading rapidly.
However, this will not apply to the Common Travel Area (CTA), which covers Great Britain, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and the Channel Islands.
The Irish Department of Health has announced its own measures to mitigate the effects of Omicron, including mandatory home quarantine, regardless of vaccination status.
Chiara GiordanoNovember 28, 2021 1:15 PM

Adults will be offered a reminder “sooner than expected”

Professor Anthony Harnden, vice-chairman of the Joint Committee on Immunization and Immunization (JCVI), was asked whether those under 40 “should expect” to receive the booster sooner than one. previously thought so due to the Omicron variant.
When asked if people between the ages of 18 and 39 should prepare for an extension of the encore program on Radio 4’s Broadcasting House, he said: “I think there is a very good and strong argument for increase the level of antibodies in the whole community.
“So speeding up the booster program, both by extending the age range and reducing the interval between the second dose and the booster dose, will be an acceptable strategy. “
When asked if people aged 18 and over would be asked to get the booster sooner, he added: “These adults 18 and older will have a booster offer sooner than we had considered. previously. “
Chiara GiordanoNovember 28, 2021 1:00 PM

Israel becomes first country to completely close borders for fear of Omicron variant

Israel has become the first country in the world to completely close its borders amid fears over the new variant of the Omicron coronavirus.
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said the ban on foreigners from entering the country would last for 14 days.
Maroosha Muzaffar has more on this story:
Chiara GiordanoNovember 28, 2021 12:45 PM

Thirteen Omicron cases found in the Netherlands

Thirteen cases of the Omicron coronavirus variant have been found in the Netherlands, Dutch authorities have reported.
It comes after 61 people who arrived in the country from South Africa on Friday tested positive for the coronavirus.
Chiara GiordanoNovember 28, 2021 12:26 PM

Expert disagrees with claim Omicron variant is milder form of coronavirus

Professor Sir Mark Walport, chief executive of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), disagrees with claims that the Omicron variant is a milder form of coronavirus.
Speaking to LBC on Sunday, he said: “The number of people is still quite small, and it’s a younger population, so there’s no reason to think there is going to be a milder disease. . “
Chiara GiordanoNovember 28, 2021 12:10 PM

Not the role of bus drivers to impose the wearing of the mask, says Unite

Unie’s National Passenger Transportation Officer Bobby Morton said: “It is not enough to announce that face masks will become mandatory again, this policy must be fully enforced in order to protect public health.
“The government’s previous inconsistent messages on face mask wearing will almost certainly result in a high degree of non-compliance.
“Unite’s advice to bus drivers is clear: it is not their role to enforce the wearing of masks, their responsibility is to drive and operate the bus safely. The job of enforcing the wearing of the mask is that of the bus operator and the police.
“Unite has consistently warned that the requirement to wear face masks should never have been lifted as Covid-19 rates remain high. It was only the arrival of the new variant that forced the government to act. “
Chiara GiordanoNovember 28, 2021 11:55 AM

Explained: How the return of PCR testing and self-isolation for international travel will work

From 4 a.m. on Tuesday, all international arrivals to the UK will be required to undergo a PCR test either on entry or within one of the two following days.
The traveler should also self-isolate upon arrival until a negative result is received.
Our travel correspondent Simon Calder explains the new rules in full here:
Chiara GiordanoNovember 28, 2021 11:45 AM

Further travel restrictions may be needed, warns Nicola Sturgeon

More travel restrictions may be needed in Scotland to tackle the threat posed by the new Omicron variant of the coronavirus, Nicola Sturgeon has warned.
The Prime Minister spoke out as new travel restrictions were imposed by the British government after two cases of the new Covid-19 strain were confirmed in England.
Scotland will also impose travel restrictions, which will require all passengers arriving in the UK to take a PCR test and remain in isolation until they test negative.
This will apply to everyone, regardless of their vaccination status.
Although no case of the Omicron variant has yet been confirmed in Scotland, Ms Sturgeon has warned that further travel restrictions may be needed.
Chiara GiordanoNovember 28, 2021 11:26 AM

Majority of Omicron cases seen by doctors in South Africa are ‘mild’, says Minister of Health

South African Health Minister Joe Phaahla said he had heard that the majority of Omicron cases seen by doctors in his country were “mild.”
Asked about LBC what he knew about the state of health of the people who had contracted it, Dr Phaahla said: “It is still too early at this point.
“Part of what I’ve read from some of our clinicians is that so far they haven’t witnessed serious illness. This may be due in part to the fact that the majority of people with HIV are young people. “
He also said that a greater proportion of older people were vaccinated, adding: “It may also be because they are younger people of which only 26% of people are vaccinated. “
Chiara GiordanoNovember 28, 2021 11:10 AM

Authorities to announce number of Omicron cases found in Netherlands

Dutch health authorities are expected to announce the number of cases of the Omicron coronavirus variant that were found in the Netherlands later today, after 61 people who flew from South Africa tested positive for the coronavirus.
The Netherlands Institute of Health (RIVM) said it believed the new variant was present in at least some of the positive cases found among some 600 passengers who were tested on arrival on two flights from Africa South Friday.
An RIVM spokesman said on Saturday that it was “almost certain” that it had identified cases of the new variant, but further testing was needed, and the institute will not say how long until it be sure.
Chiara GiordanoNovember 28, 2021 10:40 AM


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