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.