The UK have recorded a further 90 cases of the Omicron variant on Monday, with 64 in England, 23 in Scotland and three in Wales.
However, Professor Paul Hunter, from the school of medicine at the University of East Anglia has said that it is more likely to be more than 1,000 cases in the UK.
Just 10 days ago Omicron was first discovered and Professor Hunter warned, “is spreading rather more quickly than the Delta variant.”
He told the BBC, “How it’s likely to spread in the UK still uncertain, but I think the early signs are that it will probably spread quite quickly and probably start outcompeting Delta and become the dominant variant probably within the next weeks or a month or so at least.
“The big remaining question is actually how harmful it is if you do get Covid with this Omicron variant, and that’s the question that we’re struggling to answer at the moment.”
Professor Hunter said that the government’s travel restrictions will have only a minor impact.
He added, “one of the problems with travel restrictions like this is that it then de-motivates other countries to actually be open about their own situations for fear of what they would see as economic sanctions.
“So I think once the infection is spreading within a country, then border restrictions don’t really add anything.
“We’ve known that long before Covid. This has been knowledge that we’ve had for decades, if not centuries, to be honest.”
The BBC asked Professor Hunter, if the UK was closer to the start of the pandemic than the end, he replied, “I wouldn’t necessarily agree totally with that. I think this virus is around (and) going to be around forever.
“The last time we had a big coronavirus outbreak we think was 130 years ago and that virus is still circulating, we get infected with it fairly regularly, every three to six years, and it basically just causes the common cold.
“That is likely the way that this pandemic is going, so we will be repeatedly infected with Covid, we will be repeatedly infected with new variants but by and large, they’ll just be another cause of the common cold and at that point, we’ll stop worrying about it, but we’re not we’re not quite there yet.”