TOP News

World: Omicron Variant: Germany, Czech Republic Report Suspected Cases After U.K. Confirmation

International travelers to England must self-isolate until they test negative for COVID-19 after 2 cases of Omicron variant identified

  International travelers to England must self-isolate until they test negative for COVID-19 after 2 cases of Omicron variant identified Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced tighter travel restrictions for travelers entering England after the country detected cases of the Omicron variant.International travelers must take a day 2 PCR test and self-isolate until they get a negative result, ABC News reported. Face masks will also be required on public transportation and in stores.

The Czech Republic and Germany are examining potential cases of the new COVID variant Omicron, according to officials.

Germany and Czech Republic are examining cases who are suspected to be infected with the new COVID Omicron variant after the U.K. confirmed its first cases. Above, a medical staff member prepares a syringe with a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech (Comirnaty) Covid-19 vaccine, in the Lyon Gerland vaccination center, on November 27. © Photo by JEFF PACHOUD/AFP via Getty Images Germany and Czech Republic are examining cases who are suspected to be infected with the new COVID Omicron variant after the U.K. confirmed its first cases. Above, a medical staff member prepares a syringe with a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech (Comirnaty) Covid-19 vaccine, in the Lyon Gerland vaccination center, on November 27.

Germany's Hessian Ministry for Social Affairs and Integration said Saturday that an individual who traveled to Germany from South Africa is suspected to be infected with the Omicron variant.

The Latest: Local transmission of virus variant in Scotland

  The Latest: Local transmission of virus variant in Scotland LONDON -- Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said there is evidence of local transmission of the new omicron variant of the coronavirus after the country reported its first six cases. She told a news conference that not all the cases in Scotland had links to recent travel, adding that this suggests “there might already be some community transmission of this variant in Scotland.” The new cases takes the U.K.’s total to nine after three cases were identified in England over the weekend.The arrival of the variant on British shores prompted Prime Minister Boris Johnson to tighten restrictions on mask-wearing and testing of international arrivals to England.

The ministry said that a traveler who is fully vaccinated came from South Africa on November 21 and had developed symptoms over the week. The traveler is currently isolated at home as she waits for the results of a complete sequencing test, which will come out in a few days.

"Please protect yourself and those around you. If you have returned from southern Africa in the last week, limit your contacts and have yourself tested," Kai Klose, the social affairs minister for the German state of Hesse, said in the statement.

In the Czech Republic, a potential case involving the Omicron variant was reported. The National Institute of Public Health said Saturday that a traveler came from Namibia.

"A lab is checking a possible find of a positive specimen of the Omicron variant. We are awaiting confirmation or refutation of the case," Stepanka Cechova, an institute spokesperson, told Reuters on Saturday.

Biden addresses nation on omicron variant as some travel bans to US take effect

  Biden addresses nation on omicron variant as some travel bans to US take effect With the omicron variant prompting new travel restrictions this week, President Joe Biden will address the nation on Monday in remarks about the new COVID-19 variant. "While we have said that travel restrictions can slow the speed of omicron, it cannot prevent it. Here's what it does: It gives us time," Biden said in remarks from the White House. "It gives us time to take more actions. To move quicker, to make sure people understand you have to get the vaccine. You have to get the shot. You have to get the booster.

Meanwhile, two cases of the new variant have been reported in England, U.K. Health Secretary Sajid Javid said on Saturday. The cases were linked to southern Africa travels.

Both cases were confirmed by the U.K. Health Security Agency after genomic sequencing. The individuals in those cases are now self-isolating, according to Javid.

"Today I can announce one thing that we are doing immediately is carrying out targeted testing and sequencing of positive cases in the two areas that are affected," Javid said, per the BBC.

The U.K. now has 10 countries on its travel red list in which all individuals coming from South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho, Eswatini, Angola, Mozambique, Malawi and Zambia have to quarantine for 10 days.

Additionally, a case of the new variant has also been detected in Belgium, according to leading local virologist Marc Van Ranst.

"In Belgium, one sample was confirmed as the novel B.1.1.529 variant (in a returning traveller from Egypt (11/11); first symptoms on 22/11)," he wrote on Twitter on Friday.

Analysis: Biden faces a familiar foe -- uncertainty

  Analysis: Biden faces a familiar foe -- uncertainty President Joe Biden had hoped to return from the Thanksgiving holiday bearing good news about his moves to get the economy back on track, his administration's effort to fix the supply chain crisis and hopes for a holiday season where Americans could gather safely with families and friends. © MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images US President Joe Biden delivers remarks to provide an update on the Omicron variant in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, DC on November 29, 2021.

Earlier on Friday, Van Ranst said that Belgium is analyzing "two suspicious samples." According to Reuters, Van Ranst's lab works closely with the country's health body Sciensano.

The U.S. will start banning air travel from South Africa and seven other nations on Monday to curb the spread of the new strain, according to a Friday announcement by President Joe Biden. Japan, Israel and the U.K. have also imposed temporary air travel restrictions in response to the Omicron variant.

Related Articles

  • Omicron COVID Variant Has Spread to Third Continent
  • Pfizer in 100 day Race For Omicron Vaccine as World Seeks to Contain Variant
  • First Omicron Variant Cases Discovered in U.K. Says Health Secretary
  • President Biden Warns New Omicron COVID Variant 'Spreads Rapidly,' Urges Booster Shots
  • U.S. Joins at Least 15 Other Nations Banning Travel From South Africa After Omicron Emerges
  • Which Countries Have Detected Cases of 'Alarming' New Omicron COVID Variant?

Start your unlimited Newsweek trial

Fauci Says COVID Could Be Controlled Not Eliminated With Vaccines Amid Omicron Spread .
"Better control is what I think we need to look for and then we can get back to some form of normality to our lives," Dr. Anthony Fauci said."I don't think there's a chance you're going to eradicate this because we've only eradicated one virus for humans in history and that was smallpox. Elimination is tough," he said on Friday during a TV appearance with Neil Cavuto on Fox Business Network. "I'm not so sure we're going to be able to do that, at least not in the near future. That's aspirational.

See also