Omicron accounts for 30% of new Covid cases in London, which is the fastest growing area for the variant, along with Scotland, and there are fears more restrictions are needed
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The UK government is considering tighter restrictions after it emerged that the fast-spreading Omicron variant accounts for 30% of new Covid cases in London.
Boris Johnson has already presented his Plan B which is unpopular by many in his own Conservative Party and by those in the business world where Christmas is a key time of the year.
Ministers participated in a Cobra meeting on Friday where they discussed measures that can be taken to slow the spread of the Omicron variant, it was reported.
Communities Secretary Michael Grove, who has himself tested positive, said London and Scotland were hot spots and the situation was “deeply worrying”.
The new data suggests that Omicron will now become dominant as early as next week.
Last Christmas London was hit hard by the Alpha variant and now, a year later, it is questionable whether restrictions similar to those in place could then be reimposed, with all 32 boroughs having increasing cases of Omicron.
Data from the Department of Health shows infections in London rose 25.3% in the week to December 4, which was the fastest of England’s nine regions.
There were 474.7 infections among 100,000 people tested, the highest since last January.
So far, this has not been reflected in hospitalizations and deaths, but the data is typically several weeks behind as it takes time for people to get seriously ill.
Mr Gove, the Daily Mail reported, said: “The meeting I just chaired with the prime ministers of all decentralized administrations was presented with very difficult new information.
“We know we have the highest number of Covid infections in the UK on record today since January 9. We know that the Omicron variant doubles every two or three days in England, and maybe even faster in Scotland.
“We know that 30% of the cases reported in London are the Omicron variant and of course we only identified Omicron in this country a fortnight ago.”
As of Friday, 58,194 new Covid infections and 120 deaths were reported in the UK within 28 days of testing positive.
According to the latest figures, 488 other Omicron infections have been reported, bringing the total to 1,265.
In England, an additional 443 Omicron cases have been reported, for a total of 1,139.
An additional case of Omicron has been reported across Scotland, which has 110 confirmed cases of the variant.
In Wales, four more cases have been reported, with the total number now standing at 13.
No new cases have been reported in Northern Ireland, where the number of infections currently remains at three.