UK travel test rules have been tightened; 58 new to the EU – ARAB TIMES
LONDON, December 5 (Agencies): The UK government tightened travel restrictions on Saturday over concerns over the spread of the omicron coronavirus variant, saying all travelers arriving in England will need to take a COVID-19 test before going board their flight. Health Secretary Sajid Javid said the new rules would apply from 4 a.m. London time on Tuesday. “In light of the most recent data, we are taking further steps to slow the incursion of the omicron variant,” he said in a tweet. Javid has also added Nigeria to the ‘red list’ for travel to the UK, meaning that arrivals from that country will be banned except for UK and Irish residents, and such travelers must isolate themselves in the UK. designated quarantine facilities. He said there was a “significant number” of omicron cases linked to travel to Nigeria, with 27 cases recorded in England. Karen Dee, chief executive of the Airport Operators Association, said the new measures would be a “major deterrent” to travel, just as airports and the travel industry were hoping for a small increase during the holiday season.
“It is a devastating blow for aviation and tourism,” she said. Authorities recorded another 42,848 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the UK on Saturday, with 127 additional deaths. With more than 145,000 deaths from COVID-19 during the pandemic, Britain has the second highest number of virus deaths in Europe after Russia. As of Saturday, 58 additional cases of the omicron coronavirus variant have been confirmed in the European Union and the European Economic Area, contributing to an overall total of 167 confirmed cases to date. Cases have been reported from 17 EU countries, the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) said in a statement. The majority of confirmed cases have a history of travel to African countries, with some having taken connecting flights to other locations between Africa and Europe. All cases for which information on severity is available were either asymptomatic or mild. No deaths have been reported among these cases so far, he noted. These figures should be assessed with caution as the number of confirmed cases is too low to understand whether the clinical spectrum of omicron disease differs from that of previously detected variants, he added. New York on Saturday announced three more cases of the omicron variant of the coronavirus, bringing the number of state cases linked to the new variant to eight.
“The omicron variant is here, and as expected, we are seeing the start of community spread,” State Health Commissioner Mary Bassett said in a press release. The number of states finding the variant is also increasing, with Massachusetts, Connecticut and Washington state announcing their first cases on Saturday, a day after New Jersey, Georgia, Pennsylvania and Maryland reported their first confirmed cases. . Missouri reported its first suspected case on Friday.