Omicron variant: Urgent contact tracing launched after new Covid case confirmed at Portsmouth school

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Restrictions are tightening once again in England as more Omicron variant cases are discovered.

A case of the Omicron variant has been detected at a school in Portsmouth.

Portsmouth City Council says it is working closely with staff at Solent Infant and Junior School and public health authorities to 'monitor the situation'.

Additional measures will be put in place at the school to try and stop the spread, and all close contacts will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace, the council said.

The director of public health is urging people to follow precautions to prevent any further cases.

Helen Atkinson, Portsmouth City Council's Director of Public Health, said: "Following the confirmation of a case of the Omicron variant at Solent Infant School, we are working closely with the UK Health Security Agency and both Solent Infant and Junior School to monitor the situation.

"Close contacts will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace and advised of next steps."

Omicron was first detected in South Africa, and has since spread to countries around the world.

Experts say early signs indicate that the new strain is highly transmissible.

Its emergence has led to travel curbs and tightening restrictions in the UK and elsewhere.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson invoked England's Covid Plan B, bringing in work from home guidance again, along with stricter masking rules, and vaccine passports for indoor venues, including nightclub.