New restrictions were set in place in Europe in an effort to stem the spread of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus as a top U.S. health official warned that the variant is likely to strain American hospitals in the coming weeks.

The rapidly spreading variant is already the dominant strain in the U.K., according to estimates derived from British health data, and is within days of becoming so in Denmark. Omicron has been detected in 89 countries, and Covid-19 cases of the variant are doubling every 1.5 to 3 days in places with community transmission, the World Health Organization said Saturday.

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