Omicron sufferers are 40% less likely to be admitted to hospital than those with Delta
The good news comes amid warnings from US experts that the virus could infect 140 million people between January and March - 60 percent of all Americans
British scientists have found that Omicron sufferers are 40 percent less likely to be admitted to hospital with serious illness than those with Delta.
Scientists at Imperial College London said that Britons who catch Omicron are between 15 and 20 per cent less likely to be admitted than those who get Delta.
But the real-world analysis, of more than 300,000 people between December 1 and 14, found the chance of having to stay in hospital overnight was even lower, with a reduced risk of between 40 and 45 per cent.
That study came after a second analysis from Scotland on Wednesday found that the risk of being hospitalized with Omicron was 65 percent less than with Delta.
The good news comes amid warnings from US experts that the virus could infect 140 million people between January and March - 60 percent of all Americans.
America is currently averaging 148,384 daily cases, a 23 percent increase from two weeks ago, and Omicron cases have increased by 19 percent day-over-day to about 2,084.
The new variant now accounts for 73 percent of new cases in the US and pushes Europe to the brink of fresh lockdowns.
Dr Anthony Fauci has also urged people to disinvite unvaccinated people from Christmas gatherings as the fast-spreading COVID-19 Omicron variant fuels a surge in infections nationwide.
'We're dealing with a serious enough situation now that if there's an unvaccinated person, I would say, 'I'm very sorry, but not this time. Maybe another time when this is all over,'' said Fauci in an interview with MSNBC on Tuesday night.
But despite the gloomy outlook, President Joe Biden - who has vowed to avoid lockdowns - can be buoyed by recent British studies showing the new variant is milder, particularly among the vaccinated.
The study by Imperial, one of Britain's leading universities, found that even an unvaccinated person who has never had Covid and has no immunity, there was a 10 percent lower risk of being hospitalised with Omicron compared to Delta.