Omicron variant Covid cases jumped by more than 50 per cent in the UK across the weekend.

A further 86 cases of the variant were reported in the UK, taking the total number to 246.

The UK Health Security Agency revealed that 64 of those 86 new cases were reported in England.

While the remaining 18 cases were found in Scotland, taking the country’s total to 48 cases.


The Agency tweeted: “Omicron Variant latest information, 86 additional confirmed cases of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 have been reported across the UK with 68 in England.

“The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases is now 246.

“18 additional cases of the Omicron Variant of COVID-19 have been reported in Scotland.

“The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Scotland is now 48.”


The first case of the Omicron variant was reported in Wales on Friday.

A Welsh Government spokesperson said: "We are prepared to respond rapidly to emerging variants of concern and intensive investigations and robust public health action are being taken to slow any spread.

"The health impact of the Omicron variant is still being assessed. Currently there is no substantial evidence to suggest the Omicron variant will lead to a more severe form of illness but the data is being kept under constant review.

"As we better understand this variant we will be able to determine the next steps. In the meantime, sticking to the rules, following the steps which keep us safe and taking up the offer of a vaccine continue to be the best way to protect ourselves and the NHS."

Why is Omicron of concern?

Scientists have said they are concerned about the B.1.1.529 variant as it has around 30 different mutations – which is double the number present in the Delta variant.

The mutations contain features seen in all of the other variants but also traits that have not been seen before.

Dr Susan Hopkins, chief medical adviser of the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), told BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme: “If we look at those mutations, there’s mutations that increase infectivity, mutations that evade the immune response both from vaccines and from natural immunity, mutations that cause increased transmissibility.

“It’s a highly complex mutation, there’s also new ones that we have never seen before.”