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More action could be taken on borders to prevent COVID variants, PM suggests

Written by on 22/01/2021

The government could take more action on border closures amid the sustained COVID-19 death rate, the prime minister has said.

Speaking at Friday’s Downing Street news conference, Boris Johnson said: “I really don’t rule out that we may need to take further measures still.

“We may need to go further to protect our borders because we do not want after all the effort we are going to in this country… to put that at risk by having a new variant come back in.”

As it stands, travellers arriving in the UK must quarantine for 10 days on arrival, and have had a negative COVID-19 test 72 hours prior to departure.

The only flight bans the UK has in place are from South America and Portugal, after a new variant was discovered in Brazil earlier this month.

It comes after a government minister said that a full border closure is under “consideration”.

Environment Secretary George Eustice told Sky News that “everything is always kept under review” when asked if a full border shutdown could be introduced.

More from Covid-19

“We always keep things under review and it’s been considered,” he said.

“There is concern at the moment at number of mutant strains that there are – different strains of this coronavirus are cropping up in other countries.

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Minister on border closures

“There are concerns that there is a risk that one day there will be a strain that might be able to evade the vaccine.

“That’s why last week the prime minister toughened up the current restrictions.

“We require a test before people travel and then they must quarantine while they’re here.

“There are now no exemptions from that policy, so we’ve already toughened it up – we think that’s the right approach for now but, obviously, everything is always kept under review.”

 Sky News

© Sky News 2020

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