The Scottish government has announced that there has been six confirmed cases of the new variant Omicron.
The new variant is is feared to be more transmissible than Delta, has been found in the Lanarkshire area with two people in the Greater Glasgow and Clyde area.
Scotland’s deputy first minister John Swinney told the BBC, “We obviously have some travel history on some of the cases, I don’t have all of that detail available to me at this stage, but on some of the cases we are aware that there is no travel history involved.”
He added, “What that tells us is that there must be a degree of community transmission of this particular strain of the virus in the absence of a direct travel connection for some of the cases in the southern African area.
“So that obviously opens up further challenges for us in terms of interrupting the spread of this particular strain of the virus and that will be the focus of the contact tracing operation that is under way already.”
Scotland’s Health Secretary Humza Yousaf said, “This will be a worrying time for the six people now identified as having the new variant. All will receive expert help and support and Public Health Scotland will undertake enhanced contact tracing in all cases.
“This will help establish the origin of the virus and any further individuals they have come into contact with in recent weeks.
“There is still much to learn about the Omicron variant. Questions remain about its severity, transmissibility and response to treatments or vaccines and scientists are working at pace to provide additional information.
“Until more is known we must be cautious and do everything we can to minimise the risk of spreading infection.
“We have already taken steps and are aligning with the new border restrictions being introduced by the UK Government which will require fully vaccinated arrivals to take a PCR test within two days of arrival and to self-isolate until a negative result is received.
“These measures will be introduced as soon as possible and kept under constant review. However, we reserve the right to go further if necessary.
“We are also adopting the expanded red list of countries identified by the UK Government. This will also be kept under review.”