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Johnson looking at toughening UK border quarantine rules

5 Comments
By Guy Faulconbridge and Kate Holton

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday he was looking at toughening border quarantine rules because of the risk of "vaccine-busting" new coronavirus variants.

New variants of the virus that causes COVID-19 are opening up the prospect of a much longer battle against the pathogen than previously thought. Scientists fear the new variants may be more deadly, and that vaccines may be less effective against them.

"We have to realize 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," Johnson told reporters at a vaccination centre.

"We want to make sure that we protect our population, protect this country against reinfection from abroad," Johnson said. "We need a solution."

The new variant identified in South Africa can evade the antibodies that attack it in treatments using blood plasma from previously recovered patients, and may reduce the efficacy of the current line of vaccines, scientists said.

Besides the South African variant, others have been identified in Britain and Brazil.

British scientists and politicians have expressed concern that vaccines being deployed or in development could be less effective against the variant.

Johnson said the British government was looking at the option of quarantine hotels - where inbound travelers pay to be isolated at a hotel on arrival.

In Australia, arrivals have to quarantine for a minimum of 14 days at a hotel, and ITV reported the UK could announce a similar policy on Tuesday.

"That idea of looking at hotels is certainly one thing that we are actively now working on," Johnson said.

Johnson said the United Kingdom was on target to reach its vaccination targets for vulnerable groups by Feb 15.

"We are on target to hit our ambition," he said.

© Thomson Reuters 2021.

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

5 Comments
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Johnson said the British government was looking at the option of quarantine hotels - where inbound travelers pay to be isolated at a hotel on arrival.

How can it possibly be that a year into a pandemic that has killed 100,000 people in the UK, international borders have been left open and this has not been done before? How can that be?

Most people have been focused on what's been happening in our own countries and in China and the USA, but the sheer criminal ineptitude of the UK response is as bad as anywhere in the world, and worse than most.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Also, the number of patients on ventilators in the UK has hit an all-time high of over 4,000. The record for the first wave was 3,300 plus.

And then Johnson has the gall to say like this:

"We want to make sure that we protect our population, protect this country against reinfection from abroad," Johnson said. "We need a solution."

The news from the UK is so unremittingly bad, it needs a bit of gallows humour. To paraphrase Monty Python's Piranha Brothers sketch:

"Even Boris Johnson is beginning to sit up and take notice."

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-55782716

4 ( +5 / -1 )

So now Johnson is looking to New Zealand and learning how to deal with the virus effectively? Better late than never I guess.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Not only did Johnson choose to allow unlimited international travel, he also encouraged people by creating those useless travel corridors. Many went abroad for their usual holidays in the summer, utter madness.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

The Johnson government has badly handled the pandemic, in piece meal fashion, and flip flopping back and forth. What was required, was a strong resolution and single minded determination, to get it under control. We would now be further down the line to beating it.

Johnson has increased the time interval of the second vaccination to 12 weeks, in the hope of vaccinating more people but that decision is opposed by senior doctors and the pharma company. Maximum interval should be 42 days.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

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