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UK Government Taken Strong Steps Against the Omicron Variant

Dec 03,2021

UK_Government Taken Strong Steps Against the Omicron_Variant

One more time COVID – 19 is trying to destroy the lives and the world. The new variant ‘Omicron’ seems more powerful and fatal than the previous ones. As a result, many countries have become proactive and come into action. Every day new updates on the opening of international borders are hitting the community. There are several countries that have already blocked the entry of international travelers who are traveling from African countries.

In the hierarchy, the UK government has also taken important steps to safeguard the country from the new and deadly variant. The new guideline came on November 30, 2021, which says –

  • Face-covering is mandatory while visiting shops and entering into public transports.
  • It’s mandatory for international travelers to undergo a PCR test and remain self-isolated until the negativity of the test gets confirmed.
  • Self-isolation is compulsory for the individuals who are the suspects of the Omicron variant despite their age and vaccination status.
  • The prominent countries that are on the UK’s travel red list include
    • South Africa,
    • Botswana,
    • Lesotho,
    • Eswatini,
    • Zimbabwe,
    • Namibia,
    • Malawi,
    • Mozambique,
    • Zambia, and
    • Angola

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Omicron Variant Prevention Guidelines

The following guidelines have been imposed by the UK government to prevent the virus from spreading in the country

  • More information is required to be gathered to understand the virus better.
  • Its transmissibility, as well as vaccine influence, is needed to be analyzed.
  • Considering vaccination as the best way of protection, the government is encouraging people to come forward and complete the vaccination doses as soon as possible.
  • The booster program will be elongated for people aged between 18 to 39 years.
  • The duration between the second dose and the booster dose is decreased by three months.
  • People belonging to the age group of 12 to 15 years are suggested to go for the second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. The dose should not be taken earlier than 12 weeks after finishing the first dose.

UK Visa Process and the Omicron variant

UK’s government has also altered the UK visa process and traveling to the UK to protect the country from the outbreak of the Omicron variant. The travelers who have connections with the most risk-prone countries are required to follow the below guidelines

  • International travelers who are executing their UK visa process or entering the UK are required to undergo a PCR test by the end of the next day. Also, self-isolation is mandatory for them until the negativity of the test gets confirmed.
  • An online PCR test offered by private organizations will also work.
  • The travelers who are suspicious of the new variant need to stay in self-isolation despite their age and the vaccination status. 
  • The measures are only temporary and are expected to be altered after three weeks.

About the New Omicron Variant

  • According to the UK Health Security agency and studies, the Omicron variant contains spike protein mutations in big numbers. The mutations reside in the viral genome of the Omicron variant.
  • The transmissible rate of the variant is high as compared to the previous versions.
  • Scientists are also observing its behavior, response to medicines, and transmissibility rate of the virus.
  • As WHO has warned the nations for the new variant, UK’s government has become attentive.
    • The PCR testing has been increased.
    • The locations where the new variant is expected to spread are on priority.
    • The cautionary have also been announced for the confirmed cases and the individuals who get in touch with the victims. 
    • The vaccination programs are also running in addition to the testing, tracing, and isolation.
    • According to the authorities, the system is taking all essential steps to diminish the spread. In addition to this, hygiene, social distancing, and masking are imperative to restrict the spread of the virus.

Endnote

Though the government of the UK is taking all the protective measures to save the country from the new variant, the exhaustive impact of the new virus on the UK Student Visa process is yet to emerge. As per the government, vaccination and boosters are the best means to ensure safety from the new Omicron variant. However, in the current situation, we can only hope for the best and pray for our well-being. 

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