Indian Variant Concerns in UK, Restrictions To Ease Cautiously

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  • No 10 has defended its decision not to ban travel from India sooner, amid concern that the coronavirus variant first discovered there is now spreading quickly in parts of the UK.
  • India was reporting more than 100,000 cases a day by 5 April, but was not added to the red list until 23 April.
  • The government said the UK has “some of the toughest border measures”.
  • It comes after the British Medical Association raised concerns about Monday’s relaxation of Covid rules.

A recent news article published in the BBC by Kathryn Snowdon reveals that No 10 defends India travel ban timing amid variant fears.

Boris Johnson view point

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Friday that the B.1.617.2 Indian variant could pose “serious disruption” to the final stage of lockdown easing in England on 21 June – but insisted Monday’s easing would go ahead as planned.

Scientists advising the government are confident the Indian variant spreads more easily, with cases of it nearly tripling to 1,313 in the past week in England.

Borders are not closed

Asked why the borders were not closed sooner, a government spokesman told the BBC:

“We took precautionary action to ban travel from India on 23 April, six days before this variant was put under investigation and two weeks before it was labelled as of concern.

“Prior to India being placed on the red list in April anyone coming to the UK had to test negative and quarantine for 10 days.”

England, Scotland and Wales to relax from Monday

Despite concern about the Indian variant, coronavirus restrictions across England, Scotland and Wales are due to be relaxed from Monday.

Curbs lifting across the devolved nations vary, but there will be a greater degree of indoor mixing allowed and more hospitality venues will be able to reopen.

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Source: BBC

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