Gillian Keegan (Health Minister) today said it was better for Britain to overreact to Omicron coronavirus variation after Joe Biden informed the US that this mutant strain was ‘not cause for panic. 

From this morning at 4am, the Government has introduced new regulations regarding face masks as well as self-isolation in order to reduce the spread of the variant. 

Ministers try to find the right balance in their response, Ms Keegan stated. However she acknowledged that it was difficult to judge because of the many unknowns associated with this variant. 

Ms Keegan maintained that Christmas is going according to plan despite fears of Omicron-related self-isolation. 

Health Minister Gillian Keegan today insisted it is better for the UK to 'overreact than underreact' to the new Omicron coronavirus varian

Gillian Keegan (Health Minister) today said that the UK should not ‘overreact or underreact’ in light of Omicron coronavirus varian.

US President Joe Biden said last night that the variant is 'a cause for concern, not a cause for panic'

Last night, Joe Biden of the United States stated that this variant was ‘a source for concern’ and not “a reason to panic”.

The US President Biden stated last night that “this variant is cause for concern, and not for panic”. 

The UK has responded to his comments with three key curbs. Give scientists time to analyze the variants and determine how effective current vaccines against them.

In shops as well as on public transportation, face masks must be worn. All travellers who return to the UK after arriving in Britain must take a PCR testing at least two days before their departure. Once they receive a negative test, they are allowed to leave the isolation.  

Omicron-infected close relatives must be isolated at home for 10 days, regardless of their vaccination status. This will prevent the spread of another “pingdemic”. 

After Scotland’s announcement of three additional Omicron cases this morning, the UK now has 14 such cases. England only has five. 

Sky News interview with Ms Keegan: Is the UK in danger of reacting too much? 

She replied: ‘We are trying to get that balance and proportion and it is difficult because it is unknown so we need to buy some time so our scientists can work with the world’s leading scientists to just basically figure out, we know it is very transmissible by looking, but we don’t know whether it’ll work with the vaccine, the vaccine will work, or the other treatments etc.

‘So the scientists do need some time for that. It seems that we’ve got both the right balance and the appropriate response.

‘But we will review it in three weeks, that will give the scientists enough time to hopefully give us some insights then.’

Told that it could subsequently become apparent that the UK has overreacted, Ms Keegan said: ‘I would rather overreact than underreact at this point. 

“I believe we’ve been there so many times, that we now have this amazing wall of vaccine, and we want that to continue, and we want it to be stronger.

‘We would rather be stronger to be able to face any new variants and I think we have all the things, all the capability to do that, so that is what we would rather do.’

Concerns have been raised about the potential spread of Omicron variants in Britain by the new rules of self-isolation for those who are close contacts of Omicron cases.  

Told that the restrictions could result in more people being unable to see their family over the Christmas period, Ms Keegan said: ‘Obviously you could be self-isolating over Christmas. It could happen. We hope that we can keep the cases. Although everyone will be contacted and people will begin to isolate, we want to make sure we do not lose any of them.

‘With or without this you could be isolating for Christmas, with another variant.

‘Of course Christmas is on track. What everyone wants for Christmas is if you haven’t had your first jab, come and get it, if you haven’t had your second jab, come and get it, and if you haven’t had your booster, come and get it when you are asked.’ 

Ms Keegan said that Christmas will ‘hopefully not’ be ruined, adding: ‘Let’s be proportional and balanced as we are trying to be, we have got five cases today, that will go up I am pretty sure, but what we are trying to do is really clampdown on that as much as possible.’