It's thought as many as 1 million Brits will have to stay home this Christmas, with stats indicating as many as four times more people will be isolating this year than last.
Sadly, for everyone, this won’t be a possibility, and they’re now faced with a ten-day isolation over Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and Boxing Day. Currently, guidelines dictate that anyone who tests positive for the virus must isolate for ten days – so if you test positive now, you will have to stay home until December 27th.
It’s thought as many as 1 million Brits will have to stay home this Christmas, with stats indicating as many as four times more people will be isolating this year than last.
This comes as 78,610 Covid-19 cases were reported across the UK on Wednesday – the most ever recorded in one day, even more than the previous highest peak.
We’ve already brought you a GP’s guide to the five simple things you can do to enjoy a Covid-free Christmas and a bit on the link between vitamin D and coronavirus, too. But did you know? The symptoms of the Omicron variant are actually different to the previously circulated Covid-19 symptoms.
Omicron Covid symptoms: 5 to be on alert for
Previously, the NHS warned you to look out for a loss (or change) to smell or taste, a new, continuous cough, and a high temperature. But with the new Omicron variant, experts – including Oxford professor Sir John Bell – have warned that symptoms are “rather different”.
Do watch out for the following:
- Sore throat
- Aching muscles, particularly in your back
- A stuffy nose
- Some stomach upset
- Loose stools.
Speaking to Radio 4’s Today show, the expert – who is a professor of medicine – said: “One of the things we do know is the syndrome is rather different.”
He went on to stress that one symptom is a particular red flag.
Muscle aches, pains, or soreness is a “distinguishing feature” of the new Omicron strain, but as of yet, scientists don’t know why.
Similarly, and differently from past Covid-19 strains, data from South Africa reports that an upset stomach or loose stools is a symptom.
Commenting on the changing symptoms, he speculated: “It’s one of the most interesting features of this. It looks like it’s behaving differently.”
When asked exactly how much more transmissible Omicron is actually is than Delta, he simply said that at current, it’s not known.
He said: “We know some things about this variant and there are a lot of things we don’t know.”
“We know this is a highly infectious variant, two or three times as infectious as Delta, which was a pretty infectious variant of its own.”
“One of the reasons it’s sweeping through the country so quickly is because it is very, very infectious.”
Similarly, he encouraged everyone to follow the government’s “Plan B” guidelines – that is, work from home where possible, wear masks in all public spaces and get your booster ASAP – putting particular emphasis on the importance of getting your booster jab.
Encouraging more booster uptake, he shared: “The best thing we can do is to get people who haven’t been vaccinated, vaccinated.”
“That’s the thing that really grinds the system down.”