As countries around the globe scrambled to contain a new Covid-19 variant called omicron, scientists have said they are unsurprised at its emergence and repeated calls for greater worldwide vaccination efforts.
Two cases of the variant have been identified in the U.K., Health Secretary Sajid Javid said Saturday. He added that the people involved were linked to each other and to travel to southern Africa, where omicron was first detected earlier this week.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Saturday anyone arriving in the U.K. will be asked to take a PCR test for Covid-19 on the second day and must self-isolate until they provide a negative test result. He also said the rules on face coverings in shops and on public transport will be tightened.
A case of the new variant has also been detected in Italy, the National Health Institute said Saturday.
The health ministry in the German state of Bavaria also announced two confirmed cases of the variant in travelers who entered the country at the Munich airport Wednesday.