Omicron variant: Chelmsford Specsavers branch linked to coronavirus outbreak

091221 Specsavers Chelmsford High St
Specsavers in Chelmsford has been linked to at least three cases of the Omicron variant, with three other possibles Credit: ITV Anglia

Customers who used a Specsavers branch in Essex are being urged to get tested after an outbreak of the Omicron variant.

Public health bosses say anyone who visited the High Street branch in Chelmsford should take a Covid test after several cases of the new variant were linked to the shop.

Anyone who visited the Specsavers branch for an appointment, adjustment or to browse between Sunday 21 November and Monday 6 December should get tested as soon as possible.Essex County Council's Public Health team said three confirmed and three highly probable cases had been linked to the opticians.

While the risks of any individual being infected with Omicron due to a visit to Specsavers were low, it was essential they identified all cases to help reduce the spread, they said.

Customers are advised to take a lateral flow test even if they do not have symptoms. People who take a lateral flow test should take two tests a week for at least the next two weeks. Those with symptoms such as a fever, cough or loss of taste and smell, should immediately isolate and request a PCR test.

The outbreak comes as the prime minister announced a fresh set of restrictions to halt the spread of the new Omicron variant.

On Tuesday, Health Secretary Sajid Javid said the Omicron variant of Covid-19 was now spreading through "community transmission across multiple regions of England”.

He said the government could not “say for certain” whether Omicron would escape Covid vaccines, or how severe a disease it could cause.