A leading expert who advises the government has said it is “already too late” to stop the spread of Omicron as the government has shut “the stable door after the horse has bolted” as the variant is “spreading rapidly.”
Mark Woolhouse, a member of the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling (Spi-M) which advises the government, said Boris Johnson’s new measures will not make any “material difference.”
The UK faces a nervous wait to find out if Omicron is more transmissible and or more deadly than the current dominant strain, Delta.
Professor Woolhouse told BBC One’s Andrew Marr Show on Sunday, “I think that may be a case of shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted.
“If Omicron is here in the UK, and it certainly is, if there’s community transmission in the UK, and it certainly looks that way, then it’s that community transmission that will drive a next wave.
“The cases that are being imported are important, we want to detect those and isolate any positive cases we find, as we would for any case anywhere.
“But I think it’s too late to make a material difference to the course of the Omicron wave, if we’re going to have one.”