PCR test and quarantine: Great Britain tightened entry rules due to Omikron

PCR test and quarantine
Great Britain tightened entry rules because of Omikron

Only a few corona measures still apply in Great Britain. It should stay that way for the time being. But the appearance of the omicron variant is forcing the government in London to tighten the entry rules.

In view of the newly discovered Omicron variant, Great Britain is tightening its rules for travelers from all over the world. All arrivals must take a PCR test on day two after their entry and go into quarantine until they receive a negative test result, as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced. This applies regardless of the vaccination status and should be checked after three weeks.

So far, fully vaccinated people from most countries only had to do a rapid test after entering the country, but no longer had to go into quarantine. Only a few countries, meanwhile also many African ones, are on the so-called red list. Returnees from these countries would have to go into a ten-day hotel quarantine at their own expense, Johnson said.

According to several other countries, two cases of the Omikron variant were also found in Great Britain on Saturday. The people concerned and their households are in quarantine, and tests will be intensified in the areas, announced British Health Minister Sajid Javid.

Effects of Omikron still unclear

The variant B.1.1.529, which was first detected in South Africa and Botswana, was classified as “worrying” on Friday by the World Health Organization (WHO). The EU health authority ECDC speaks of serious concerns that the variant could significantly reduce the effectiveness of the corona vaccines and increase the risk of reinfections.

The exact effects of the new variant have not yet been determined. Despite the worsening situation, the UK government is not yet implementing its emergency plan. This provides for vaccination certificates at major events and the recommendation to work from home. Only the mask requirement indoors – for example in public transport and shops – is to be tightened again. Apart from that, in Great Britain, despite strict entry rules, it remains the case that there are hardly any corona measures in Germany.

The number of new infections in the UK remains high. The incidence has been around 400 for weeks, most recently around 437 – and the trend is rising. In contrast, the number of hospital admissions and deaths fell slightly. Experts assume that immunity in the British population is higher than in the German population, despite a similar vaccination rate, as significantly more people fell ill.

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