TWO cases of the new Covid variant, Omicron, feared to have a higher reinfection rate have been detected in the UK - with one in Essex.

The individuals and all members of their households have been ordered to self-isolate after one case was detected in Brentwood, Essex, and the other in Nottingham.

Essex County Council have said the single case in Essex is located in Brentwood, not Chelmsford as referred to in the Government’s release this afternoon.

[Update 16:22: The UK Government's Department of Health and Social Care has now confirmed the case is in Brentwood rather than Chelmsford.]

Both cases are believed to be connected and there is a link to southern Africa.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid said targeted testing is now being carried out, as travel restrictions were set to be introduced for Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Angola.

Read more: 

Omicron variant reaches UK: Two cases of new Covid strain confirmed

Council confirms new Covid variant case in Essex

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to set out further measures during a Downing Street press conference later today (November 27).

Health Secretary Sajid Javid said: "Thanks to our world class genomic sequencing we have been made aware of two UK cases of the Omicron variant.

"We have moved rapidly and the individuals are self-isolating while contact tracing is ongoing.

"We will do all we can to protect the UK public against this emerging threat and that is why we are surging testing capacity to the impacted communities and introducing travel restrictions on a further four countries: Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Angola.

"We will not hesitate to take further action if required.

"This is a stark reminder that we are not yet out of this pandemic.

"Getting the vaccine has never been more important - please come forward for your first jab if you haven't already and if eligible, book your booster as soon as possible."

He added: "If anyone has travelled to these four countries or any of the other red-listed countries in the last four days then they must self isolate and take PCR tests."

A spokesman for Essex County Council said: “We can confirm that a single case involving the new Covid-19 Variant of Concern (B 1.1.529), Omicron, has been identified in Brentwood.

"This is linked to a single case from Nottingham involving international travel to South Africa.

“We are working with regional and local public health officers who are assessing the situation. All close contacts of these individuals will be followed up and requested to isolate and get tested.

“The individuals who have so far tested positive, as well as all members of their households, are being re-tested and have been told to self-isolate while contact tracing is underway.

“While this work takes place, it is important that everyone takes sensible precautions – get a PCR test if you have symptoms, isolate when asked, wear a face covering in crowded and enclosed spaces, ventilate rooms, get your vaccine and boosters as soon as you can."