The UK has 24 cases of the Omicron Covid variant, with nine in Scotland and 10 in and around London as it has reached at least 19 countries worldwide
There are now 24 cases of the Omicron variant of Covid in the UK, with the newest two cases having been discovered in Bolton today.
Health officials in the area, said it was “highly probable” that the Covid variant had been discovered there, and said it is taking “precautionary action” against its spread.
The B. 1. 1.529 variant, known as Omicron, was first identified in southern Africa, but has since been reported in at least 19 other countries but is expected to be far more widespread.
Cases in the UK have been found from Glasgow, to Liverpool, Norfolk and London as the government works to try and keep the new variant from spilling out of control.
See the full list of where it is in the UK below.
Since its discovery the government has announced tighter restrictions, including requiring mask wearing on public transport.
So far, every confirmed case in the UK has been tested and along with their contacts are isolating.
The full list of cases where the Omicron variant is across the UK:
Barnet – 2
Bolton – 2
Brentwood – 1
Camden – 2
Glasgow – 4
Haringey – 1
Lanarkshire – 5
Liverpool – 1
North Norfolk – 1
Nottingham – 1
Sutton – 1
Wandsworth – 1
Westminster – 2
Health officials have said that it is “highly probable” that there are two more cases of the Omicron variant in Bolton.
The individuals that tested positive are said to be linked, and members of their households are being re-tested and are self-isolating.
Dr Jenny Harries, Chief Executive of UKHSA, said: “We are continuing our efforts to understand the effect of this variant on transmissibility, severe disease, mortality, antibody response and vaccine efficacy.
“Vaccination is critical to help us bolster our defences against this new variant – please get your first, second, third or booster jab without delay.
“Following the change in JCVI advice yesterday, a booster dose for everyone over 18 years is now recommended at a minimum of 3 months from your last primary course jab.
“Please take up this offer as soon as you are invited to protect yourself, your families and your communities.
“Please make sure to wear a mask in line with government guidance, including on public transport and in shops, to help break the chains of transmission and slow the spread of this new variant.
“It is very likely that we will find more cases over the coming days as we are seeing in other countries globally and as we increase case detection through focused contact tracing.
“That’s why it’s critical that anyone with Covid-19 symptoms isolates and gets a PCR test immediately.”
All nine of Scotland’s Omicron cases can be traced back to a single event, which took place on November 20.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon told the Scottish Parliament that this suggested that there was community transmission already happening within the UK.
She added that more cases were likely over the coming days, which could also be linked to this super-spreader event.
Most of England’s cases focus in and around London.
The case in Brentwood, Essex, was linked to a local KFC branch but all staff tested negative and the fast food chain has reopened since.
One of the cases in Westminster involved an individual who left the country shortly after.
Wales and Northern Ireland are yet to report a confirmed case of the new variant.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.