After claiming that he was infected by the Omicron strain during a London conference attended by 1,250 people, a triple-vaccinated Israeli physician has raised concerns about the possibility of the Omicron variant being in Britain for several weeks.

Elad Marra, 45, traveled to London from Israel on November 19, and stayed in an Islington hotel while she attended the three-day ExCeL London Convention in Newham. 

A father of three, Sheba Medical Centre in Tel Aviv’s, was tested for the virus on November 27th. He had mild symptoms, including sore throat and fever.

Three PCR tests were performed on him, November 20, 21, 24 and 24, all of which returned negative results. He later developed symptoms after returning to Israel and underwent a fourth PCR test, which revealed a positive result.

Dr Maor, who is now quarantining at home in Israel, appears to be certain that he picked up the variant while attending the conference, saying: ‘I got the Omicron in London, for sure.’

He told The Guardian: ‘That is interesting because that was 10 days ago in London – really, really early.’ 

Dr Maor believes that he also infected another worker aged 69, and he has tested positive for Omicron after returning to London.

Pointing to a delay between the time of infection and when the PCR turns positive, he added: ‘The only reasonable explanation is that I got infected on the last day of the meeting – maybe at the airport, maybe at the meeting.’

Associate professor of Cardiology from Tel Aviv University stated that he commuted via the Tube and Docklands Light Railways (DLR), over three days. 

His comments come as Dr. Anthony Fauci announces the first detected case of the Omicron variant in the US, saying it was identified by the San Francisco Departments of Public Health in California. 

Fauci stated that the person had been returned to South Africa from November 22, and was positive for HIV a week later, on November 29.

Although he or she had been fully vaccinated and received an additional booster, he/she is experiencing only mild symptoms. 

Boris Johnson stated that Boris Johnson was speaking in Britain, where rules are now in place and will be in force until March. To ‘buy us some time’ in this new version, you must wear a facecover in public places and shops.

In order to stop its spread, Prime Minister Cameron also promised to throw everything at the booster vaccine campaign. He said that 40 million over-18s would be vaccinated by January 31, and will offer them jabs.

But in the same Downing Street press conference last night Mr Johnson insisted another lockdown is ‘extremely unlikely’, urging people not to cancel their plans and to ‘keep living your life’.

Critics say the Government’s latest coronavirus rules on masks, blanket quarantine for Omicron contacts and gloomy language about the threat of the new variant is actually encouraging a semi-lockdown by stealth despite just 22 cases of the new strain detected so far. 

The UK saw an overall drop in hospitalizations, deaths and infection rates yesterday. However, a World Health Organization official said today that Omicron-related cases are mostly’mild.’ There’s no evidence that the vaccine’s new variant affects the effectiveness of serious illnesses.

There are accusations that mixed messages were being sent Sajid Javid also encouraged millions of people to be ‘sensible’ and ‘cautious’ about attending Christmas parties and to take a lateral flow test before going to slow the spread of the Omicron variant. According to the Health Secretary, there is no guarantee that Christmas will be free from lockdowns.  

According to the Israeli doctor, Omicron was spotted in the UK by Omicron on 23 November. 

  • Omicron cases in the majority of Omicron patients are mild and no evidence has been found that this new vaccine variant is effective against severe illness. A World Health Organization official stated today: 
  • All UK arrivals should be forced to quarantine for five days and take a pre-departure PCR test even if they are vaccinated, SAGE has advised;
  • Joe Biden has been looking at tougher entry requirements when it comes to travellers to the US. It could even mean that arriving travelers will be forced to stay in quarantine for 7 days.
  • European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said it is time for the EU ‘to think about’ making Covid vaccines mandatory across the entire bloc;
  • Sajid Javid acknowledged that it would be difficult to fulfill the government’s pledge to offer a jab for every adult in the UK by January 31;
  • Labour called on the government to provide pre-departure screening for everyone before flying to the UK.  
  • Saffron Cordery is the deputy chief executive at NHS Providers. This association represents NHS trusts and has said that some NHS organizations had requested staff not to mix in large groups in the lead-up to Christmas.
  • Data published by the Office for National Statistics showed a total of 170,816 deaths have occurred in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.  
Elad Maor (pictured above), 45, travelled to London on November 19 and stayed at a hotel in Islington while attending the three-day convention at ExCeL London in Newham, east London, before returning to Israel

Elad Maor, 45, traveled to London to attend the three-day ExCeL London convention in Newham. She then returned to Israel.

Boris Johnson listens to a children's choir during the ceremony to switch on the Downing Street Christmas tree lights today

Boris Johnson listens as a children’s choir performs during the switch-on ceremony of the Downing Street Christmas tree lights.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson switches on the Christmas tree lights outside 10 Downing Street in London this evening

Boris Johnson is the Prime Minister and switches on the Christmas tree lights in front of 10 Downing Street, London.

Yesterday saw more chaos after Dr Jenny Harries, chief of UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), suggested that people limit their December socializing. Tories MPs were suspicious that Harries was being used as a fall guy by ministers too afraid to accept further restrictions.   

The Christmas party is being cancelled – costing clubs and pubs billions. If the parties go ahead, bosses are telling attendees to pass a lateral flow exam on the morning and then wear masks. Santa visits were canceled by councils and schools, while fairs and nativity plays have been cancelled at the local schools. 

MailOnline is reporting that Brewin Dolphin in London, one the UK’s biggest wealth management companies, has told employees they are allowed to avoid the office between December 10 and January 7. Staff should not feel uncomfortable declining invites to events before December 25, bosses also said. 

Google sent a message to UK employees requesting that they’move all planned in-person social events until 2022′, and limit them to 15 persons. Ronan Harris, Vice President and MD for Google UK & Ireland, also told workers that face-to-face business meetings and events must be approved by a company director. 

Many UK companies are now attempting to reinstate workplace restrictions such as the wearing of masks in public areas like corridors and lifts, despite government guidance. Aviva Insurance is offering daily lateral flow exams to its employees. EY is just one of many large businesses that ask staff to cover their faces when they are not working.

Virgin Media said it was revising its office procedures, while Martin Sorrell (chief executive at S4 Capital), said his agency would pay more attention to testing.

Sir Christopher Chope, Tory MP and Tory MP has said that the regulations of Prime Minister are part of scaremongering propaganda campaigns designed to limit or prevent interaction between social animals. They are intended to reduce freedom and stop social contact.

SAGE demands mandatory 5-day isolation and a ‘fit-to fly’ test for UK arrivals

SAGE advised that all UK-bound arrivals be placed in quarantine for five consecutive days, and subject to a predeparture PCR test.

Expert panel members warned that the travel restrictions currently in place were permitting a significant number of people with the virus to get by.

Currently, anyone who has been fully vaccinated and intends to enter the UK must take a PCR test within two days after returning.

Nothing can stop them from doing this right away and receiving a response the very next day. They will be freed within hours of landing, which is incredibly convenient.

SAGE scientists stated that this may not allow enough time for virus incubation. Ministers should also bring day 5 and 8 tests.

Unvaccinated individuals entering the UK must pass ‘fit-to fly’ checks before they can board a flight back home.

SAGE’s latest advice was leaked in minutes from an emergency meeting on Monday about Omicron.

The video conference, which was hosted by Professor Chris Whitty and Sir Patrick Vallance as chief scientific advisers, attracted more than 30 scientists.

Alec Shelbrooke, Conservative MP for Elmet and Rothwell, said: ‘I have received several emails from travel companies in my constituency whose potential bookings have dropped off a cliff because of the cost of PCR tests’, adding encouragement back towards working from home will be devastating for businesses relying on office workers. 

Shadow Home Secretary Yvette cooper stated that it would help if the government provided clear guidance. They don’t know what people want.

Since Mr Johnson’s initial TV press conference, pubs and clubs reported that there have been a number of cancellations. As hospitality businesses stood up to warn him about the economic chilling effects of Covid restrictions in the weeks leading to Christmas, they feared the prime minister would be unable to cancel any more. Many large businesses have decided not to hold big parties in this year’s Christmas season. For all those who are, they will require a negative result on the covid test. 

SAGE advised that all UK-bound arrivals be placed in quarantine for five consecutive days, and subject to a predeparture PCR test.

Expert panel members warned that the travel restrictions currently in place were permitting a significant number of people with the virus to get by.

Currently, anyone who has been fully vaccinated and intends to enter the UK must take a PCR test within two days after returning.

Nothing can stop them from doing this right away and receiving a response the very next day. They will be freed within hours of landing, which is incredibly convenient.

SAGE scientists stated that this may not allow enough time for virus incubation. Ministers should also bring day 5 and 8 tests.

Unvaccinated individuals entering the UK must pass ‘fit-to fly’ checks before they can board a flight back home.

SAGE’s latest advice was leaked in minutes from an emergency meeting on Monday about Omicron.

On November 29th, more than 30 scientists participated in the videoconference. It was led by Sir Patrick Vallance (chief scientific advisor) and Professor Chris Whitty (chief medical adviser).

If Omicron’s worst predictions prove to be correct, they advised Britain that it should prepare for a “potentially very large wave with associated hospitalisations” this winter.

Boris Johnson tightened travel guidelines yesterday so that arrivals must self-isolate till they obtain a negative PCR result.

Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said today that it was ‘totally inacceptable’ for ministers to ignore advice from scientists and impose further curbs at border.

This week’s Government rejection of calls to self-isolate vaccine-vaccinated travelers for as long as eight days this week was rejected by the government, who argued that it would be a “detrimental” effect on the tourism industry.

Boris Johnson has been warned by businesses that Covid restrictions could chill the economy and cause a flurry of panic in the lead-up to Christmas.

According to restaurants and pubs, people are already cancelling Christmas parties, even though masks are not allowed in hotels. The theatres also require visitors to don masks.

WHO chief says most Omicron cases have no symptoms and are mild.

Omicron cases in the majority of cases are mild and no evidence has been found that this new vaccine variant is effective against severe illness. This was according to a World Health Organization official today.

The spokesperson of the international health agency stated that early evidence suggests the mutant strain infects people better than Delta even if they are fully vaccinated.

The anonymous official said that there was no indication that current vaccines would be less effective in preventing deaths and hospitalisations.

Today, Dr Maria van Kerkhove (who is WHO’s Covid leader) said that there were’some suggestions’ Omicron was more transmissible than Delta in a press conference.

They should receive a final answer in a matter of days, she said.

Kerkhove claimed that Omicron-related cases could have led to severe illness, although there was evidence that many Omicron victims had only mild symptoms.

She said that it was early and could have a bias in reporting. 

In South Africa, many cases are found in youths. They are much less likely to be seriously ill with Covid. 

Chief executives of airlines warned that the strict new testing requirements imposed by the latest strain were threatening the fragile industry’s recovery. The bookings are down and there is a growing concern that cancellations could follow.

Michael Kill, the chief executive officer of Night Time Industries Association said that mixed messages created uncertainty which was a problem for business.

He stated that it was surreal to hear healthcare professionals telling people to not socialize, which causes unnecessary uncertainty for our customers, employees, and the public.

He stated that while operating costs have reached their highest point, they are facing a poor-conceived communication strategy from Government, which will impact severely businesses.

“Christmas bookings have been made and tickets sold in advance of Christmas already after the Omicron variant was announced,” said Steve Baker, former minister. Steve Baker was a former minister who condemned Dr Harries’s intervention. Sir Desmond Swayne, a Tory politician and fellow Tory said that telling people to stop socializing would lead to ‘huge harm to people’s well-being’ as well as to industries still recovering from previous lockdowns. 

After new self-isolation rules were revealed in the law, Tory MPs blasted it. This has sparked fears that the restrictions could be in place for much longer than the three weeks promised.

A new restriction came into force yesterday which requires people who have been in contact with a case of the Omicron coronavirus variant to self-isolate for 10 days or risk a fine of up to £10,000. 

Boris Johnson said this rule along with the requirement to wear facemasks in shops, on public transport, and that returning travelers must take a PCR test within two days of arrival will all be reviewed prior to Christmas. 

The regulations that support the self-isolation law are not set to expire till March 24th, prompting protests from the anti-lockdown Tories. 

Conservative MPs are concerned that the new rule will lead to a new ‘pingdemic’, which could destroy the economy as well as the education system. 

Sajid Javid, the Health Secretary of the UK, dismissed the concerns. There are currently 22 Omicron confirmed cases.   

Mr Johnson exits 10 Downing Street as a children's choir sings during the ceremony to switch on the Downing Street Christmas tree lights in London on Wednesday

As a children’s chorus sings, Mr Johnson leaves 10 Downing Street during Wednesday’s ceremony to turn on the Downing Street Christmas tree lights.

Mr Johnson is seen standing next to a children's choir and band after switching on the Christmas tree lights in Downing Street

After switching on the Christmas tree lights at Downing Street, Mr Johnson can be seen next to children’s chorus and band.

The Prime Minister pictured applauding after switching on the Christmas lights in Downing Street this evening

After switching on the Christmas lights at Downing Street, Prime Minister was seen applauding.

The Prime Minister stands in front of a crowd after switching on the Downing Street Christmas tree lights this evening

After switching on the Downing Street Christmas lights, this evening’s Prime Minister is seen standing in front of an audience

Mr Johnson applauds and looks up at the Downing Street Christmas tree after turning on its lights on Wednesday

Johnson looks at Downing Street’s Christmas tree as it turns on its lights after Mr Johnson has applauded.

According to a health chief, NHS trusts have been cancelling Xmas celebrations and are telling employees to stick to smaller groups due to Omicron concerns.

A health chief today revealed that many NHS trusts asked their staff to refrain from hosting large Christmas parties because they fear the Omicron variant could make them unworkable.  

Saffron Corery, the deputy chief executives of NHS Providers (which represents NHS trusts throughout England), said that many hospitals ask workers not to mix large groups during Christmas.

NHS leaders are trying to minimize the “potential threat” to the health of medics and to reduce the impact that catching the virus could have on their ability to do ‘whatever they can’.

The advice comes amid contradictory recommendations on what Britons should expect in the Christmas period following the advent of Omicron’s super mutant Omicron variation. 

Sky News asked Ms Cordery if people should attend Christmas parties. She said that it was a difficult and complicated issue. 

“People will make their own decisions,” she said. Many NHS trusts, such as the one we know, ask their staff to avoid mixing large groups of people in the lead up to Christmas due to the possible threat to their health. They also want to make sure they have the right tools to help them do their job.   

“So they are setting one example. Although I don’t think there is any government advice at this time, it is up to individuals and organizations to consider what they will do in the lead-up to Christmas. 

“But, it is really difficult and hard one.

“The best thing that anyone can do is go and get their booster whenever it’s available and book in to have that done. That’s in addition to wearing masks and washing your hands, and making sure that you are in ventilated areas.

Johnson refused to follow Dr Jenny Harries advice. Johnson explained that this isn’t in the formal guidance and told people not to cancel their Christmas parties or schools nativity plays.  

Today, the PM was echoed by Mr Javid who said that people “should continue to behave as they had planned for Christmas” and that ‘I don’t believe there’s any reason to change these plans’.

The Health Secretary was frightened that he might be confused further when he stated that he will take a Covid exam before going to a Christmas party. 

Although he stated that testing isn’t a recommended procedure in the guide, he will take a test when he attends such an event to ensure safety. 

The incident occurred as Sir Keir Sternmer questioned Johnson at PMQs about claims Johnson and Downing Street staff violated Covid rules in holding two celebratory gatherings in Number 10 for 2020. 

The Daily Mirror reported that the PM gave a speech at a packed leaving do for a senior aide last November when the country was in the midst of the second lockdown. While London was under Tier 3 Covid restrictions, his number 10 team members held their own Christmas party.

Although Johnson acknowledged that there had been a party, he said that all guidance was observed as Sir Keir claimed. The British Public is being taken for a fool.  

MPs voted yesterday to overwhelmingly support Mr Johnson’s new rule on self-isolation by 431 votes to 36, as 32 Tories rebelled to vote against. 

The Tory backbenchers worry that, while the Government says the restrictions will need to be reviewed in the next three weeks ministers might subsequently take action to maintain them. 

However, the December 20 deadline for compulsory face masks is over. The law governing self-isolation however will continue to be in effect until March 24. 

Mark Harper, the former chief whip raised yesterday’s expiry date question with Maggie Throup, Vaccine Minister. 

He said: ‘The Government have said that they are going to review these measures after three weeks and she is right—on the face masks, the regulations expire on 20 December—but the self-isolation SI (statutory instrument) has no expiry date, which means it will run all the way until the main statutory instrument expires on 24 March 2022. You ask why? 

Ms. Throup stated that Mr Harper made a very good point’ but insists that ‘we won’t continue to have regulations in place any longer than necessary’.   

Harper stated that while ministers made it clear that they would review the regulations in three weeks…the regulations were not time-limited; instead, they amended another set that does not expire until March next year. 

“Although I was told by the minister that the measures will be applied for only a single day, it is important that she acknowledges that there has been an erosion in trust between ministers and backbenchers, especially after the last few weeks.

Politico was told by sources in government that March is due to a technical problem with legislation. They also stressed the importance of the three-week review. 

Tory MPs are worried about the new self-isolation rule. This has raised fears of a return to the “pingdemic” that decimated the country in the first half of this year. Thousands were advised to remain at home.  

Sir Keir Starmer

Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson and Sir Keir Johnson clashed at PMQs over Covid rules. This lunchtime, the PM was confronted by a revolt of Tory MPs

The Government has insisted the rules will be reviewed in three weeks' time but Tory MPs, including former chief whip Mark Harper, have expressed concerns about the expiry dat

While the Government insists that the rules will not be changed for three weeks, Tory MPs including Mark Harper, former chief whip, expressed concern about the date expiry.

Ursula von der Leyen believes it’s time to consider mandatory vaccination across all of the EU

Ursula von der Leyen said that the European Union should ‘think about’ making Covid vaccines compulsory across the bloc. The European continent is currently fighting a virus outbreak caused by the Omicron variant. 

In Brussels, the President of EU Commission stated that it would ultimately be up to members to determine their vaccine rules. However, it was her personal opinion that it was time to talk about forcing people to have jabs.

“We only have one-third the population that isn’t vaccinated. That’s 150 million people. “Not everyone can be vaccinated, but many could,” she stated.

Austrian officials announced yesterday plans to mandate vaccines for all citizens. Yesterday, Olaf Scholz’s aide stated that Germany would follow Austria’s lead.  

Tory MP Steve Brine said: ‘We are not just looking at a pingdemic in our economy and in our businesses; we are looking at a pingdemic that will devastate education again. 

‘After everything that we have learned—everything that I have felt in my own family—are we really, seriously, going to do that to our children again?’ 

Fellow Tory MP Craig Mackinlay said: ‘I am afraid that the proposals mean we are going to fall into a new pingdemic.’    

Today, Mr. Javid said that he was not concerned about the possibility of a ‘pingdemic’ as Omicron cases are still very low. 

He told Sky News: ‘No, no I am not. At the moment, there are only 22 confirmed cases. There are currently 22 cases confirmed in the UK.

“Now that it is going up, it will definitely go up but it’s low numbers, so I am hoping it stays this way.

“So, while I don’t worry about a potential pingdemic situation, we also stated that the virus loves deeper winter and darker days. This is not only true for the flu virus but all viruses.

“So, as we do that, people should be careful to think about how they can ventilate a space and follow current guidance.

After Dr Harries suggested that decreasing social contact “a little” could be helpful in slowing the spread, it sparked backlash from Tory MPs and warned the hospitality industry.   

According to her, if all of us reduce our social contact a bit, that actually helps keep the variant at bay. 

Downing Street later retracted the advice, stressing that a decrease in socialising was not part of Omicron’s Government response. 

At a later press conference, Number 10, Johnson expressed a similar opinion. Johnson said Christmas parties should continue. 

Sky News asked Mr Javid for his thoughts on this issue. He stated that he believed people should behave the same way they planned to over Christmas.

I don’t believe it is necessary to modify those plans. There have only been changes made to the plans that are known by everyone.

It could affect your plans for international travel.

In danger of cancellations on festive flights to US Brits will be subject to a Covid test at 24 hours prior to takeoff, and may have to stay there for seven days upon arrival

British families eager to enjoy Christmas in America will find their plans disrupted by Joe Biden’s tighter entry requirements. He may even require them to stay in quarantine for 7 days.

Fully-vaccinated travellers from all countries may now have to take a PCR or lateral flow test within a day of departure – a reduction from the current three days, according to a plan discussed by US officials.

The President is also considering whether to require air travellers to get another Covid-19 test within three to five days after arriving in the United States, three anonymous health officials told the Washington Post.

In addition, the US is debating whether all passengers must quarantine for seven days, even with negative test results – which would deal a crippling blow to the travel industry and force thousands of Britons to cancel trips. Fines could be handed out to those who break the regulations.  

“There are times when you need to be alone if someone has Omicron.

Also, the Health Secretary was asked whether people should undergo a coronavirus testing before they attend a Christmas party. 

He replied: ‘Yes. I would. Although it isn’t a recommendation, I would follow the guidelines if there were lots of people and stuff at my party.

“But, I would have done it by the way before we learned about this variant.

“Again, I would do that because it’s getting colder and darker. We are more likely to spend more time indoors because of this colder and darker day. So, that’s a reasonable precaution everyone should take. 

According to Mr Javid, people need to be “sensible” if they are going to a Christmas party. 

He said: ‘If you are invited to a Christmas party, there’s quite a few people there, maybe you want to take an LFT (lateral flow test) test before you go. Be careful when you go to the party.

When asked if he would wear masks at parties, Mr. Javid replied that it depended on whether he is sitting or walking. It also depends on if you are eating. The guidance is all that’s needed to help people make decisions.

Minister in the Cabinet defended Government decision to require face covers in England’s shops and public transport, but not in hotels.

The government’s role is to receive expert opinion and to make an informed and balanced decision. He said that this is what he had done.

“We have acted quickly. However, I believe that what we said about face covers and other measures we took is balanced and appropriate. 

According to the government, new regulations regarding self-isolation (face masks, travel testing) that went into effect at 4am yesterday are expected to give scientists enough time to study the Omicron variant of the virus and determine whether vaccines can be used against it.  

Omicron Covid first appeared in Nigeria on OCTOBER – this was weeks before South Africa’s announcement of a variant.

Nigeria confirmed the first Omicron Covid cases and made it public in October. This was weeks after South Africa had alerted the rest of the world.

The Nigerian Centre for Disease Control announced today that three Omicron cases have been identified in travelers who came from South Africa to Nigeria in the last week.

However, Dr Ifedayo Adetifa, director of the agency, stated that retroactive testing on Covid samples from recent weeks had revealed another Omicron case dating back to Oct.

Omicron was the ‘variant in concern’ of the WHO. It is thought to have been the most contagious Covid strain yet. 

Just a few days ago, Dutch health authorities reported that they found Omicron bacteria in an Omicron sample taken from a patient on November 19. This was just four days before South Africa issued the alert.