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UK Covid hotel quarantine for travellers from high-risk areas

Priti Patel, will announce a hotel quarantine system targeted at arrivals from high-risk countries.

On Wednesday, the home secretary, Priti Patel, will announce a hotel quarantine system targeted at arrivals from high-risk countries after ministers agreed to the approach.

Covid hotel quarantine for travellers

Boris Johnson rejected calls at Tuesday evening’s meeting to impose hotel quarantine on every traveller, instead choosing to impose it just on British citizens from countries such as South Africa and Brazil.

Priti Patel and the health secretary, Matt Hancock, were amongst those in favour of a blanket approach, a larger number of countries on the list, or even a temporary closure of UK borders.

The Home Secretary will speak in the House of Commons on Wednesday to announce the measures following prime minister’s questions. The policy will take a weeks to implement.

The UK can still expand measures beyond what was agreed on Tuesday evening should there be further developments. Travel bans are already in place on visitors from South Africa, Portugal, Brazil and other South American countries in order to prevent the spread of new Covid variants.

Patel told MPs that the UK had “a world-leading vaccination programme … We are proud of that programme and the government will do everything that it can to protect that vaccine from new strains of the virus.”

Priti Patel supposedly argued privately that a more comprehensive quarantine scheme would better protect the UK from as-yet unknown new variants although she was overruled.

Scientists stated that they preferred the blanket approach, underlining the fact that many countries do not have surveillance systems that can track existing or new variants, which renders limiting the policy to certain countries pointless.

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