The Isle of Wight is still free of Omicron Covid cases, despite it being close to Portsmouth and Southampton where cases have been confirmed.

Four cases of the variant were confirmed in Southampton on Monday while three were found in Basingstoke over the weekend and just this morning (Wednesday), Portsmouth City Council recorded its first Omicron case.

An Isle of Wight Council spokesperson has said they are not aware of any confirmed Omicron cases on the Island but urged people to get vaccinated or have their booster vaccine if they are eligible.

Southampton's public health director Debbie Chase said it is working with the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) following the discoveries but added the cases were all 'directly or indirectly linked to travel' from overseas.

Dr Chase said while there was no cause for alarm, they were right to be cautious but Southampton City Council confirmed there were no plans for surge testing.

Latest data from the UKSHA shows 437 Omicron cases were have now been confirmed in the UK, with 333 in England.

Questions are still trying to be answered around the emerging variant, as it has a different protein spike than other types of the coronavirus, as scientists are unsure about how it reacts to the various vaccines, how seriously ill people can become from it and how it spreads.

Speaking at a meeting of the Isle of Wight Council's local outbreak engagement board last week, Simon Bryant, the Island's public health director said initial signs were it could be okay but he still wanted to be very cautious about it.

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A council spokesperson reiterated things people should be doing to reduce the spread of infection including; using a face covering in a busy setting; socially distancing; making sure spaces are well ventilated; practising cough hygiene and ensuring you wash or sanitise your hands frequently.