Israeli doctor believes he caught Omicron variant of Covid in London

The disclosure from Elad Maor will raise fears that the variant may have been in the UK much earlier than previously realised — and that other medics could have been exposed to it too.

In an exclusive interview with the Guardian, Maor, a cardiologist at Sheba Medical Centre near Tel Aviv, described how he returned to Israel on 23 November after the three-day meeting at ExCeL London, a large convention centre in Newham, east London. He began experiencing symptoms within days, and tested positive on 27 November.

The time from exposure to symptom onset (known as the incubation period) is thought to be up to 14 days, though symptoms typically appear within five days of exposure.