Covid information – stay: Omicron ‘squandering’ pandemic progress as all travellers to check earlier than departure to UK

Ex-Sage member ‘cautiously hopeful’ present vaccines will shield in opposition to new variant

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Britain’s bid to stamp out the specter of coronavirus is “being squandered” by the brand new omicron variant, one of many nation’s prime scientists has warned.

Sir Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Belief, stated omicron’s emergence exhibits that the world is “nearer to the beginning of the pandemic than the tip” – and that wealthy nations had been”lulled into considering that the worst was behind us”.

“This political drift and lack of management is prolonging the pandemic for everybody, with governments unwilling to actually handle inequitable entry to the vaccines, exams and remedy,” Sir Jeremy, who final month stepped down as a authorities scientific adviser citing “regarding” charges of the virus, wrote within the Observer. “There have been great speeches, heat phrases, however not the actions wanted to make sure honest entry to what we all know works and would carry the pandemic to a detailed.”

His warning got here hours after well being secretary Sajid Javid introduced new guidelines for all UK travellers, together with that from 4am on Tuesday morning, anybody heading to the UK from nations not on the Crimson Checklist will probably be required to take a pre-departure take a look at – no matter their vaccination standing.

Observe our stay protection beneath

The primary at-home Covid remedy may very well be on supply earlier than Christmas as an try to guard probably the most weak folks from the omicron variant, a report suggests.

Well being secretary Sajid Javid is ready to launch a nationwide pilot of the Molnupiravir antiviral capsule – often known as Lagevrio – within the subsequent few weeks, the Sunday Telegraph writes.

The paper stated that underneath the plans, the NHS was anticipated to ship programs of the pill to clinically weak and immunosuppressed sufferers inside as little as 48 hours of them testing constructive for Covid.

It stated hospitals and GPs had been instructed a collection of Covid medicines supply models had been being established to make sure the remedy will get to sufferers as rapidly as potential as soon as it’s confirmed they’ve the virus.

Final month, the UK grew to become the primary nation on the earth to license its use – a transfer described as a “game-changer” by Mr Javid. However, simply over every week in the past, England’s chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty warned its use could must be reconsidered within the gentle of the brand new omicron variant.

A Division of Well being and Social Care spokesman stated solely of the information: “There are a selection of thrilling alternatives within the pipeline and we’ll present additional particulars in the end.”

Following my final submit, right here’s our journey correspondent Simon Calder with all the things it is advisable to find out about travelling to the UK underneath the most recent modifications.

Testing guidelines for travellers to the UK will revert largely to the place they had been months in the past, the well being secretary has stated.

Airways, vacation corporations and cruise and ferry traces are aghast on the newest authorities U-turn, only a week after the purple checklist was revived and testing guidelines toughened.

Sajid Javid has additionally prolonged the purple checklist, requiring travellers coming back from Nigeria who arrive after 4am on Monday 6 December to enter lodge quarantine at a value of 1000’s of kilos.

So, how will these modifications work in practise? Simon takes a more in-depth look.

‘The blanket re-introduction of testing to enter the UK, on prime of the present regime of isolation and PCR testing on arrival, is totally out of step with the remainder of the world’ – Sean Doyle, British Airways CEO

Final evening, Sajid Javid introduced new journey guidelines associated to the omicron variant.

From 4am Monday, solely UK/Irish residents and residents travelling from Nigeria will probably be allowed entry into the UK and should isolate in a managed quarantine facility, the well being secretary wrote on Twitter.

He added that, from 4am Tuesday, anybody travelling to the UK from nations not on the Crimson Checklist will probably be required to take a pre-departure take a look at, no matter their vaccination standing.

He additionally urged folks to get vaccinated. “Vaccines stay our first line of defence – the easiest way to guard your self and your family members. Please get vaccinated or #GetBoosted as quickly as you possibly can,” he stated.

Right here’s the tweet in case you missed it:

Certainly one of Britain’s most senior scientific figures has warned that the emergence of the omicron Covid variant exhibits the world is “nearer to the beginning of the pandemic than the tip” – and that the UK’s battle in opposition to the virus is “being squandered”.

Sir Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Belief, who stepped down as a authorities scientific adviser final month, stated wealthy nations had been taking “a really blinkered home focus, lulled into considering that the worst of the pandemic was behind us”.

Writing within the Observer, he additionally stated whereas he was cautiously hopeful that present vaccines would shield in opposition to extreme sickness from omicron, that might not be true for future variants.

“The longer this virus continues to unfold in largely unvaccinated populations globally, the extra possible it’s {that a} variant that may overcome our vaccines and coverings will emerge,” he wrote within the Sunday paper. “If that occurs, we may very well be near sq. one.

“This political drift and lack of management is prolonging the pandemic for everybody, with governments unwilling to actually handle inequitable entry to the vaccines, exams and remedy. There have been great speeches, heat phrases, however not the actions wanted to make sure honest entry to what we all know works and would carry the pandemic to a detailed.”

He added that the pressing motion wanted had not modified – “sporting masks indoors, growing testing, social distancing, isolating if constructive (with assist to take action) and vaccination will all assist to drive down transmission and shield in opposition to sickness”.

Farrar introduced he was quitting the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) final month, warning of ‘regarding excessive ranges of transmission’ in Britain

Hiya, and welcome to The Unbiased’s rolling coronavirus protection. Keep tuned as we carry you the most recent updates on the unfold of omicron, together with statistics and evaluation from the consultants.

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Customers, some sporting face masks, stroll alongside Oxford Avenue in central London over the weekend

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