Universities in Oxford are taking action after two people from Oxford University tested positive for the Omicron variant.

Term is almost over for students in Oxford; for Brookes students term ends on December 17 and for Oxford University it ends this weekend on December 4.

One confirmed case of the variant has been found in West Oxfordshire.

In addition, two highly probably cases have been found in Oxford: both are members of Oxford University and their cases are linked.

In light of the three new Omicron cases in Oxfordshire Brookes is encouraging its students to follow Government guidelines and to wear face covering.

Read also: Covid secure team to start patrolling Oxford after Omicron case found

A spokesperson for Oxford Brookes University said: “We are concerned to hear that a new variant of Covid-19, Omicron, has entered the UK and been detected in Oxfordshire.

“The measures we continue to have in place to ensure our campuses are Covid-secure are designed to keep staff, students, visitors and the local community as safe as possible, and we keep them under constant review in line with our public health partners.

“All campus users are required to wear face coverings indoors, and larger group teaching continues to be delivered online. We will be monitoring the situation closely, and take any additional measures that we feel are necessary.”

Read also: Omicron variant in West Oxfordshire

Oxford University has already put extra health measures in place in response to the government's recent restrictions related to the new variant. This includes staff and students wearing face coverings and taking two lateral flow tests before leaving Oxford for the Christmas vacation, and to self-isolate if they test positive.

A spokesperson for Oxford University said: “We can confirm that two members of Oxford University have tested positive for Covid-19, and the omicron variant is suspected. The individuals are now isolating in line with government guidance and their close contacts have been notified and are also isolating. The University is working closely with the public health authorities and following their advice.

“The University has already implemented a number of changes to its health guidance in response to the omicron variant, based on advice from its clinical academics. There are no further changes to the University’s health guidance at this stage, or any additional actions that students or staff need to take. We are continuing to encourage the whole community to follow all University and Government health advice to reduce the risks of Covid-19.”

Ansaf Azhar, Oxfordshire County Council’s Director of Public Health, has called for "everyone to play their part" and urges people to self-isolate if they are contacted by NHS Test and Trace.

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