Tens of thousands of rugby spectators have been urged to take a Covid test following the England versus South Africa match at Twickenham Stadium amid alarm over a new variant.
Spectators have been advised to get a test if they are showing Covid symptoms while the UK readies to tighten its international travel and mask rules to prevent the omnicron variant spreading.
Although the stadium enforced a Covid pass system, requiring more than 80,0000 fans to show proof of two jabs and a negative lateral flow test, the new variant is thought to be likely to evade vaccines.
Munira Wilson, the MP for the area who is also the Liberal Democrats health spokesperson, said on Saturday: “While I’m confident the RFU (Rugby Football Union) will have had the necessary protocols in place to prevent any potential spread, this serves as a reminder that we all must remain vigilant in the fight against this virus.
“Those who had flown in for the match and anyone who was in and around the stadium that day who has concerns should follow UK Health Security Agency advice in coming forward and getting tested.
“More broadly, the emergence of this new variant stresses the need to donate vaccines through the Covax programme. Ministers must spring into action and recognise no one is safe from Covid until we all are safe.”
Two cases of the variant have been discovered in the UK so far, one in Essex and another in Nottingham, following genomic sequencing.
While no cases have been discovered in London, coronavirus cases have shot up in Richmond-on-Thames, next door to Twickenham. Cases have risen sharply since the game last week.