Two further cases of the Omicron Covid-19 variant have been identified in England, with both having links to travel in southern Africa, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) said.

It brings the total number of cases in England to five and 11 in the UK after the Scottish Government announced six cases of the new Covid-19 variant have been identified in Scotland on Monday.

The individuals that have tested positive are not connected to each other and are not linked to the previously confirmed cases.

One case is located in Camden, London, and the other case is located in Wandsworth, London. Both have travel links to southern Africa.

The individuals and their households have been told to self-isolate. UKHSA is carrying out targeted testing at locations where the positive cases were likely to be infectious.

Confirmed UK Omicron variant cases

Six cases of the SARS-CoV-2 variant known as B.1.1.529 have also been identified in Scotland, with four cases in the Lanarkshire area and two in the Greater Glasgow and Clyde area.

UKHSA chief executive Dr Jenny Harries said: “It is very likely that we will find more cases over the coming days as we are seeing in other countries globally and as we increase case detection through focused contact tracing. That’s why it’s critical that anyone with Covid-19 symptoms isolates and gets a PCR test immediately.”

Sajid Javid 'expects cases to rise'

Health Secretary Sajid Javid said five cases of the new Omicron variant have been confirmed in England and six in Scotland, telling the Commons: “We expect cases to rise over the coming days.

“The new variant has also been spreading across the world. Confirmed cases have been reported in many countries, including Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Portugal.

“In this race between the vaccines and the virus, the new variant may have given the virus extra legs.”