Omicron variant spreads to Europe as UK announces countermeasures
Experts stress importance of delaying import of new Covid variant to UK to avoid Christmas mixing
As an alarming new Covid variant spread to Europe on Friday, scientists warned that it would inevitably reach Britain, while ministers faced calls to urgently speed up the vaccination programme.
Thousands of travellers were left stranded or with their plans in disarray after flight bans were introduced targeting countries across southern Africa, where the variant was discovered. Hotel quarantine and enhanced testing would be brought in across the UK, the health secretary, Sajid Javid, said.