Britain tightens borders to keep out new COVID-19 variants

By Sarah Young and William James LONDON (Reuters) - Britain is tightening border controls to block new variants of COVID-19, suspending all 'travel corridor' arrangements that had meant arrivals from some countries did not require quarantine. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is grappling to control a third wave of the virus and prevent the health service from collapse while also racing to vaccinate millions each week

Reuters January 16, 2021 01:11:31 IST
Britain tightens borders to keep out new COVID-19 variants

COVID-19 variants" src="https://images.firstpost.com/wp-content/uploads/reuters/01-2021/16/2021-01-15T172715Z_1_LYNXMPEH0E19Q_RTROPTP_2_HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS-BRITAIN.jpg" alt="Britain tightens borders to keep out new COVID19 variants" width="300" height="225" />

By Sarah Young and William James

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain is tightening border controls to block new variants of COVID-19 , suspending all "travel corridor" arrangements that had meant arrivals from some countries did not require quarantine.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is grappling to control a third wave of the virus and prevent the health service from collapse while also racing to vaccinate millions each week.

"What we don't want to see is all that hard work undone by the arrival of a new variant that is vaccine-busting," he told a news conference, explaining the end of travel corridors at least until Feb. 15.

The rule changes come into force at 0400 GMT on Monday and mean all passengers must have a recent negative coronavirus test and transfer immediately into isolation upon arrival.

Isolation lasts for 10 days, unless the passenger tests negative after five.

On Thursday, Britain banned arrivals from South America, Portugal and some other countries over fears about a variant detected in Brazil.

Britain's current lockdowns ban most international travel meaning that airline schedules are currently minimal, but the withdrawal of any quarantine-free travel will be a further blow for an industry already on its knees.

UK-based airline easyJet said there was no immediate impact from Johnson's announcement, but in a statement added: "We need to ensure that travel corridors are put back in place when it is safe to do so."

Britain has already felt the effects of mutations in the virus, after a variant first discovered in England has proved to be more transmissible.

Critics say the government has been too slow to act and previously left borders wide open.

Much of the criticism prior to Friday's announcement has focused on whether rules requiring arriving passengers to quarantine are actually being enforced, with anecdotal evidence that few checks are made.

"We will be stepping up our enforcement, both at the border and in country," Johnson said.

(Reporting by Sarah Young; Writing by William James; Editing by Elizabeth Piper, Andrew Cawthorne and Giles Elgood)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

Subscribe to Moneycontrol Pro at ₹499 for the first year. Use code PRO499. Limited period offer. *T&C apply

also read

Thyssenkrupp ends talks with UK's Liberty on steel unit sale
Business

Thyssenkrupp ends talks with UK's Liberty on steel unit sale

By Christoph Steitz, Tom Käckenhoff and Arno Schuetze FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German conglomerate Thyssenkrupp ended talks to sell its steel division to Britain's Liberty Steel due to differences over value, the latest setback in efforts to consolidate the European sector. Liberty Steel, led by commodities tycoon Sanjeev Gupta, last month submitted a firmed-up non-binding bid for Thyssenkrupp's steel unit, Europe's second biggest in terms of sales, which sources said included commitments to protect jobs and sites.

Factbox: Stonks in Washington: Deciphering Reddit's WallStreetBets lingo
Business

Factbox: Stonks in Washington: Deciphering Reddit's WallStreetBets lingo

(Reuters) - Reddit trading lingo may filter in to Washington on Thursday when top hedge fund managers, the head of Robinhood and Roaring Kitty himself are set to give testimony before U.S. House of Representatives lawmakers.

Brent gives up gains after rising above $65 on Texas freeze
Business

Brent gives up gains after rising above $65 on Texas freeze

By Stephanie Kelly NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil prices steadied on Thursday, with Brent edging back from a 13-month high, after a sharp drop in U.S. crude inventories supported prices, while buying spurred by a cold snap in the largest U.S. energy-producing state petered out.