Boris Johnson has announced new Covid rules following the Omicron variant being confirmed in the UK.

Speaking from Downing Street, the Prime Minister said "It does appear Omicron spreads very readily and can be spread between people who are double vaccinated."

The additional measure include; returning travellers requiring a negative PCR test, face coverings to be worn in shops and on public transport and bolstering the booster roll-out.

Boris Johnson called this evening's press conference following confirmation the Omicron covid-19 variant has been detected in the UK.

Joining him for the briefing were Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty and Chief Scientific Officer Sir Patrick Vallance.

New covid rules announced 

  • Day two PCR tests for all international travellers
  • Close contacts of positive suspected Omicron cases must self-isolate for 10 days, regardless of vaccinations
  • Mandatory mask wearing in shops and indoor settings
  • Increasing the booster jab roll out

READ MORE: What's plan B? Full breakdown of plans amid winter Covid restriction fears

Health secretary announces Omicron variant confirmed in UK

Earlier today, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Sajid Javid, announced the Government has been made aware by the UK Health Security Agency of two UK cases of the Omicron variant.

Mr Javid said: “The two cases are linked and there is a connection with travel to southern Africa.

“As a precaution we are rolling out additional targeted testing in the affected areas - Nottingham and Chelmsford - and sequencing all positive cases.”

The Health Secretary also confirmed Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Angola are being added to the to the travel red list - effective from 4am tomorrow.

Anyone returning from there in the last 10 days must isolate and get PCR tests.

READ MORE: New Omicron Covid variant detected in Essex

Today's announcement has brought further uncertainty in the approach to the festive season and whether further restrictions could impact Christmas celebrations.