Hot topics close

COVID live news - latest UK updates: Coronavirus crisis having 'calamitous impact' on NHS England wait times for operations

Live coronavirus updates as: COVID can give possible immunity for months; UK monitors Brazil variant; Pharmacies begin vaccine rollout.

Travel not restricted to UK because of 'economic burden'

Safeguarding Minister Victoria Atkins is speaking to Sky News.

On the possibility of reinfection, she says the "science on this is developing" as the pandemic is unprecedented everyone is learning as they go along. 

She said a world-leading team is working on different forms of virus as new variants are discovered.

When asked about travel into the UK from countries including Brazil - which has another variant of COVID - she said: "Of course, people flying into the UK, whether from South America or elsewhere are required to have a 10-day quarantine period when they land in the UK. That is mandatory.

"In terms of the decision on travel measures, it takes a little bit of time.

"But in terms of the UK, we are monitoring it very, very carefully, we have a world-leading team of scientists working on the different forms of the virus."

She added: "What we need to ensure is that when we make these very, very important decisions that have a huge impact on people's personal lives, but also businesses, we have got to have a little bit of time to let that bed in."

Ms Atkins continued: "The prime minister was clear that measure will be taken, we have acted decisively in the past with both the Denmark and South African variants, so I wouldn't want to speculate further at this stage."

Ms Atkins said travel has not been restricted more because there is a "delicate balancing act of controlling the virus and not putting too much of a burden on the economy".

"We've had strong travel restrictions for people leaving the country - we have listened to the concerns and acted," she said.

Similar news
  • Brazil Covid variant: How dangerous the new coronavirus strain is – and what it means for the vaccine
  • Covid-19: Brazil travel ban to be discussed over new variant
  • Covid Q&A: Sir Patrick Vallance on vaccines, Brazilian variant and lockdown
  • What we know about the new Brazilian coronavirus variant
  • UK government to ban flights from Brazil amid new Covid variant, PM hints
  • COVID-19: UK 'taking steps' over coronavirus variant detected in Brazil, says Boris Johnson
  • UK is ‘taking steps’ to protect country from new Brazilian coronavirus variant, Boris Johnson tells MPs
This week's most popular news