The British prime minister has said the government is assessing a number of options including requiring people entering the country to be quarantined in a hotel, similar to measures introduced in other parts of the world.
“We have to realise there is at least the theoretical risk of a new variant that is a vaccine-busting variant coming in, we’ve got to be able to keep that under control,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson told reporters.
Johnson said that a number of options were being assessed but said they’re “definitely looking at” the possibility of travellers arriving in the UK being required to quarantine in hotels.
“That idea of looking at hotels is certainly one thing we’re actively now working on. We need a solution that gives us the maximum possible protection against reinfection from abroad,” the PM added.
The UK closed all travel-corridors last week, meaning all arrivals are forced to isolate at home for 10 days, but there is little way to enforce such isolation.
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The comments come amid speculation that new variants of Covid-19 may lessen the effectiveness of vaccines.
Speaking earlier on Monday, Andrew Hayward, professor of infectious disease epidemiology at University College London and a member of Nervtag (New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group) said existing vaccines might have reduced effect on South African and Brazilian variants, but the UK “will not be back to square one” if those variants got into the country.
More than 6.3 million people have so far been vaccinated against Covid-19 in the UK.
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