Two cases of new variant of Covid detected in UK
Two people in the UK have been found to be infected with the new Covid variant, Omicron, the health secretary has said.
Sajid Javid said the UK Health Security Agency had detected cases in Chelmsford and in Nottingham.
He said the cases are linked and the two people are self-isolating alongside their households while further tests and contact tracing takes place.
The new variant has also been identified in South Africa, Botswana, Belgium, Hong Kong and Israel.
Countries around the world are currently racing to introduce travel bans and restrictions on southern African countries in an effort to contain Omicron’s spread.
This breaking news story is being updated and more details will be published shortly. Please refresh the page for the fullest version.