Boris Johnson HASN'T urged Brits to work from home despite Omicron variant fears

BORIS Johnson hasn't asked Brits to work from home during an address to the nation tonight – despite fears over a new mutant Covid super-strain.

The PM has given a press conference after two cases of variant Omicron were found in different areas of the UK.

Sajid Javid said the dreaded super-strain has been reported in Chelmsford and Nottingham as fears of a second Christmas lockdown grow.

But in spite of the alarm over the "horrific" strain, which was first spotted in South Africa, Boris made no mention of a return to working from home.

Instead, he introduced a series of measures to slow the spread of the variant.

"It does appear that it spreads very rapidly and can be spread between people who are double vaccinated," he said.

"It is a very extensive mutation, which means it diverges quite significantly from previous configurations of the virus."

Under the new measures, anyone who enters the UK from another country must take a PCR test by the end of their second day.

They must self-isolate until they have a negative result.

Those who come into contact with anyone who has the mutation must self-isolate for 10 days, regardless of their vaccination status.


Face masks are also back, and must be worn on public transport and in shops.

Those measures are "temporary" and will be reviewed in three weeks.

Meanwhile, the Government is considering expanding the booster jab campaign to "as wide a group as possible".

Mr Johnson said: "We don't yet exactly know how effective our vaccines will be against Omicron, but we have good reasons for believing they will provide at least some measures of protection."

The Government has been desperately encouraging people to head back into cities to work for months.

Asked about keeping people in offices tonight, he said officials are pursuing different tactics to tackle Omicron than used to drive down Delta.

"For Omicron, what you need to do is slow seeding with the border measures we're taking, these tough measures at the border, in order to give us time to find out what the risk is, but more importantly to give us time to have another six million boosters in people's arms," he said.

Just this week, Mr Johnson said young people need to be in workplaces so they can have sex with each other.

In a bizarre – and now infamous – speech to business chiefs in Newcastle, he insisted there's a "sound evolutionary reason why mother nature does not like working from home".

The PM discussed a trip to Peppa Pig World with wife Carrie and son Wilfred, before predicting workers will "come back on the roads and the rail" to seal a hook-up or relationship.

Staff were told to stay at home at the height of the pandemic, but the work from home order was dropped in July.


Scientific advisers have reportedly told the PM not to order Brits back to workplaces as working from home is an effective way to stop the spread of the bug.

It was announced today that Omicron, which is believed to be more transmissible and potentially capable of rendering vaccines less effective, is already in the UK.

Two people have tested positive, and they and their families are isolating.

The Health Secretary said the cases were "linked" to travel from South Africa where the mutant strain has seen an explosion of cases.

Targeted testing is now being carried out in Britain, and further travel restrictions are set to be introduced for Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Angola.

Mr Javid told Sky News: "Late last night I was contacted by the UK Health Security Agency.

"I was informed that they have detected two cases of this new variant, Omicron, in the United Kingdom.


"One in Chelmsford, the other in Nottingham."

Senior Government scientists have warned the mutation was the “worst variant they have seen so far” – with vaccines expected to be at least a third less effective against it.

Dr Tom Peacock, a virologist at Imperial College London, said the variant could be “of real concern”.

That's because it has 32 mutations in its spike protein, which could enable it to more easily evade a person’s immune system and spread to more people.

Meanwhile, a whopping 10 per cent of all travellers onboard two flights from South Africa to the Netherlands tested positive for Covid yesterday.

Of 600 passengers onboard two KLM flights into Amsterdam, 61 have the deadly virus.

All are now in quarantine and being tested again to see if they have the Omicron mutation.

And in Germany – which looks set to head back into lockdown as Covid cases spiral – a minister in western state Hesse said Omicron has already arrived.

"Last night several Omicron-typical mutations were found in a traveller returning from South Africa," tweeted Kai Klose.

EU health chiefs have warned the new mutation poses a "high to very high" risk to Europe.

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control says there's “considerable uncertainty related to the transmissibility, vaccine effectiveness, risk for reinfections and other properties of the Omicron variant.”

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