The Omicron variant of Covid has now spread across the UK with cases now standing at 13 in England from London to the North West and nine identified in Scotland
Another eight Omicron Covid cases have been found as the disease spreads to new areas in the UK.
The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has identified the further cases of the new Covid variant, in addition to the previous 5 confirmed cases of the SARS-CoV-2 variant known as B.1.1.529.
The total number of confirmed cases in England is now 13.
The individuals that have tested positive and their contacts are all isolating and work is underway to identify any links to travel to Southern Africa.
Cases have been found in the East Midlands, East of England, London and North West.
Nine cases have also been identified in Scotland, with 5 cases in the Lanarkshire area and 4 in the Greater Glasgow and Clyde area.
The breakdown of cases by Local Authority is:
Barnet – 2
Brentwood – 1
Camden – 2
Haringey – 1
Liverpool – 1
North Norfolk – 1
Nottingham – 1
Sutton – 1
Wandsworth – 1
Westminster – 2
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.
“Following the change in JCVI advice yesterday, a booster dose for everyone over 18 years is now recommended at a minimum of 3 months from your last primary course jab. Please take up this offer as soon as you are invited to protect yourself, your families and your communities.
“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.
“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.”