The country has taken some of the most drastic measures since the start of the pandemic, even though its caseload is low compared with other major countries because it has tethered itself tightly to a “zero-Covid” strategy.
The latest increase is due to Omicron, reported to be the dominant variant.
First detected in Southern Africa and Hong Kong in November 2021, Omicron was soon confirmed as the dominant variant in the UK in December.
Here, we take a look at some of the most common symptoms with the new variant for the fully vaccinated, and two early warning signs you might have it.
Most common symptoms for the fully vaccinated
Researchers in Norway conducted a study interviewing 111 out of 117 guests from a party on 26 November 2021 where there was an Omicron outbreak. Of the group interviewed, 66 had definitive cases of Covid-19 and 15 had possible cases of the virus.
Of the 111 participants, 89 per cent had received two doses of an mRNA vaccine and none had received a booster shot.
According to the findings published in infectious disease and epidemiology journal, Eurosurveillance, there were eight key symptoms experienced by the group of fully vaccinated partygoers.
These were cough, runny nose, fatigue, sore throat, headache, muscle pain, fever and sneezing.
The study found that cough, runny nose and fatigue were among the most common symptoms in the vaccinated individuals while sneezing and fever were least common.
Public health experts also add nausea to this list of symptoms in vaccinated people who have contracted the Omicron variant.
Although the vaccine protects against the more serious risks of the virus, it is still possible to contract Covid even if you have both jabs and a booster shot.
The mild nature of the symptoms makes it hard for people to distinguish the virus from a common cold.
But, according to Professor Tim Spector, behind the ZOE Symptom Study App, around 50 per cent of “‘new colds’ currently are, in fact, Covid”.
Two early warning signs you may have Omicron
Experts also suggest there are two distinct symptoms that could be a sign a positive test is around the corner: fatigue and dizziness/ fainting.
More than simply feeling tired, fatigue can translate to bodily pain by causing sore or weak muscles, headaches, and even blurry vision and loss of appetite.
Dr Angelique Coetzee, a private practitioner and chair of the South African Medical Association, told Good Morning Britain that fatigue was one of the main symptoms of Omicron when the variant broke out in South Africa.
In fact, 40 per cent of women reported they struggled with fatigue due to Covid compared to one-third of men, according to a poll by Web MD that asked users how often they had fatigue from 23 December to 4 January.
Dizziness/ fainting is the second sign that you may have Omicron. A new report from Germany has suggested that there is a link between fainting spells and Omicron after doctors in Berlin found that Covid was triggering recurrent fainting spells for a 35-year-old patient admitted to hospital.
German newspaper Ärztezeitung said that the doctors could see a “clear connection” between the infection and the fainting spells.