All travelers arriving in the United Kingdom (UK) are now required to undergo two coronavirus tests while they are quarantined under plans set to be formally announced by the government.
According to the Department of Health and Social Care, the current rules are being tightened to prevent new variants from entering the country.
According to DHSC spokesman, as reported by Evening Standard, “Enhancing our testing regime to cover all arrivals while they isolate will provide a further level of protection and enable us to better track any new cases which might be brought into the country, and give us even more opportunities to detect new variants.”
What they are saying
According to England’s deputy chief medical officer, Professor Van-Tam, “It is important to take a job if offered it now, to protect against the “clear and present danger” posed by the virus currently circulating in the UK, rather than wait for an updated vaccine that might be more effective against the South African variant which is only present in small numbers”.
According to Professor Salim Abdool Karim, the head of South Africa’s ministerial advisory committee on Covid-19, “What the study results really tell us is that in a relatively young age group demographic – with a very low prevalence of morbidities such as hypertension and diabetes, etc – the vaccine does not protect against mild to moderate infection.”
According to the British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson:
- “We’re very confident in all the vaccines that we’re using”
- “And I think it’s important for people to bear in mind that all of them, we think, are effective in delivering a high degree of protection against serious illness and death, which is the most important thing.”
According to Dr. Mike Tildesley, a member of the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling (Spi-M), “surge testing” currently taking place must be effective to stop the strain proliferating in the UK”
Stephen Evans, a professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said he was “reasonably confident” that current vaccines would protect against serious diseases from the variant.
What you should know
- It is expected that under the new measures, travelers will be required to take tests after two and eight days into their 10-day quarantine period.
- Recently, the UK government had announced that from February 15, UK nationals returning from high risk “red list” destinations will have to quarantine in hotels where they will have to take two tests.
- Also British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson has insisted the nation will be relying very much on border controls to protect against new strains
- Downing Street confirmed that no formal contracts have been awarded to any hotels for arrivals from “red list” countries to quarantine in.
- Experts are raising the concern that the new strains might already be quite widespread in the UK, after a study of about 2,000 people suggested the Oxford jab only offers minimal protection against mild disease of the South Africa variant.
- According to the report, “147 cases of the South African variant have so far been identified in the UK, with experts warning these are likely to be the “tip of the iceberg” due to the fact they are the result of random checks on 5% to 10% of all positive tests”