Case of new Omicron Covid variant identified in Norfolk

Essex has been placed under harsher coronavirus restrictions (file photo) Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

A case of the Omicron Covid variant has been identified in Norfolk - Credit: Archant

A case of the new Omicron coronavirus variant has been identified in Norfolk, the government has confirmed.

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) revealed one case of the variant, which was first identified in South Africa, has been found in North Norfolk.

It comes after one of the very first cases of the new variant in the UK was found in Brentwood in Essex.

There have been no confirmed Omicron cases in Suffolk so far.

Eight more cases of the variant were identified on Tuesday, taking the total for England to 13.

The government has recently confirmed all people aged 18 and over will be offered a Covid booster jab and rules of mask-wearing tightened in a bid to tackle the outbreak of Omicron.

Dr Jenny Harries, chief executive of UKHSA, said: "We are continuing our efforts to understand the effect of this variant on transmissibility, severe disease, mortality, antibody response and vaccine efficacy.

"Vaccination is critical to help us bolster our defences against this new variant – please get your first, second, third or booster jab without delay.

"Please make sure to wear a mask in line with government guidance, including on public transport and in shops, to help break the chains of transmission and slow the spread of this new variant.

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"It is very likely that we will find more cases over the coming days as we are seeing in other countries globally and as we increase case detection through focused contact tracing. That’s why it’s critical that anyone with COVID-19 symptoms isolates and gets a PCR test immediately."

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