The discovery of the Omicron variant in more than 10 European countries, including Denmark, the Netherlands and Britain, adds further pressure for a continent already buckling under the strain of Covid. In Austria, Germany and the Netherlands, infection rates have already surged to double those of last winter’s peak.
Two KLM flights from South Africa to Europe may have contributed to the spread of the new variant, about which little is known. Of the more than 60 passengers who tested positive for the virus, at least 14 had Omicron, according to Dutch officials.
Andrea Ammon, the top European disease control official, said that all of the people in Europe who were confirmed to have contracted the Omicron variant had exhibited mild symptoms or none at all. The variant has been found in at least 20 countries, raising questions about whether the pandemic is about to surge once again.
Britain: In response to the variant, Prime Minister Boris Johnson barred travelers from 10 African countries, made masks compulsory in shops and on public transportation and sped up the deployment of vaccine booster shots.
New York Times