COVID-19: UK government shown ‘very challenging new information’ on Omicron and will keep restrictions ‘under review’, says Michael Gove | UK News

The government has been “presented with some very challenging new information” about the Omicron variant and will keep restrictions “under review”, Michael Gove has said after he chaired a meeting of the COBRA emergency committee.

In his role as minister for intergovernmental relations, Mr Gove headed the talks with the first ministers and deputy first ministers of the devolved nations to discuss COVID-19 data and coordination on the response.

The communities secretary said: “We know that we have the highest number of COVID infections across the United Kingdom recorded today, since 9 January. We know that the Omicron variant is doubling every two to three days in England, and possibly even faster in Scotland.

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“We knew that 30% of reported cases in London are that variant. And of course, we only identified the Omicron variant in this country a fortnight ago.

“So we absolutely do need to keep everything under review but I think the approach that we’re taking is proportionate.

“We recognise the importance of balancing people’s ability to get on with their lives with a need to protect against this virus, but action is absolutely required, and as new data comes in, we will consider what action we do require to take in the face of that data.”

It comes as the Health Security Agency said the UK could have more than one million cases of Omicron by the end of the month if current trends continue unchanged.

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