Third case of coronavirus variant Omicron detected in UK

The variant was found in a person who had recently visited London but has since left the country.

Third case of coronavirus variant Omicron detected in UK iStock

A third case of the Omicron Covid-19 variant has been detected in the UK.

On Sunday, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) said the variant was found in an individual with links to travel in southern Africa who visited Westminster in London before leaving the country.

Targeted testing is being carried out in locations where the latest positive case visited while likely to be infectious.

It comes as two other cases of the variant were found in the UK on Saturday in Chelmsford and Nottingham.

Health secretary Sajid Javid said the two individuals were self isolating while contact tracing took place. 

Dr Jenny Harries, the UKHSA chief executive, acknowledged it is “very likely” that further cases of Omicron, which is feared to spread rapidly and may evade existing vaccines to a degree, will be discovered in the coming days.

Ten countries have been added to the UK’s red list as news of the variant, known as Omicron, emerged last week.

People arriving in the UK from one of the ten countries will have to self-isolate in a government approved hotel for ten days.

Meanwhile all arrivals into the UK will have to take a PCR test and self-isolate until a negative result is given in a bid to control spread of the variant.