United Kingdom

UK authorities raise alert level to 4 for first time since May

22:09, 12 December 2021
UK authorities raise alert level to 4 for first time since May Photo: HANNAH MCKAY/Reuters

The measure is explained by Omicron spread in Britain.

The UK's chief medical office announced on Sunday that Britain’s COVID alert level has been raised from 3 to 4 (out of 5) due to the spread of the recently discovered strain dubbed Omicron. It is the first time when the level reaches 4 since May.

The decision was recommended by chief medical officers for England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland which means that the spreading rates are quick and transmission possibilities are very likely.

According to their data, Omicron spreads faster than highly contagious Delta variant and is more resistant to vaccines.

"Data on severity will become clearer over the coming weeks but hospitalizations from Omicron are already occurring and these are likely to increase rapidly,” they commented.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson will address the nation at 8 p.m. local time. During his TV speech, Johnson is expected to provide updates on the situation in the UK and promote the booster program.

According to BBC’s inside information, the PM will not introduce new rules or restrictions.

Over-30s in England are getting entitled to booster shots starting this Monday. Over 500,000 booster jabs and third doses were given in the UK on Saturday, the second day of the program’s implementation.

First Omicron cases were detected in the UK in late November and instantly triggered new restrictions imposed by the government.