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Ministers Cautioned That A Lack Of Quarantine At Border Crossings Risks Importing New Varieties

Ministers have been warned that reopening the borders to let millions of people from the US and Europe to enter without needing to be quarantined risks importing new Covid strains.
From August 2, travelers from the United States and the European Union who are completely vaccinated against the coronavirus will be allowed to enter England without having to go through quarantine.
During a meeting of the Government’s Covid Operations committee on Wednesday, the decision was made.
According to The Guardian, this might leave the UK vulnerable to new coronavirus types imported from other countries, according to Labour and specialists.
Jim McMahon, the shadow transport secretary, has demanded for information to be made public to ensure that the decision will not result in a new type running “rampant over the country.”
Professor Christina Pagel of UCL’s Clinical Operational Research Unit expressed concern about variations that were more effective at infecting persons who had already been vaccinated.
She predicted that a “disconcerting new variation” could arise in the United States or Europe.
“We should be taking use of the fact that we are an island and having far more control over any new variants coming in,” she said. Arrivals must still test negative for Covid before traveling and again within two days of landing in the UK.
Europeans will be obliged to display their digital Covid certificate, whereas Americans will be able to show their actual Center for Disease Control card.
The move came after airline companies said that a testing showed the UK could safely exempt fully vaccinated US and EU tourists from self-isolation.
Heathrow Airport, British Airlines, and Virgin Atlantic said their 10-day pilot program demonstrated that travelers’ vaccination status can be checked swiftly and reliably away from the border.
Earlier this month, over 250 fully vaccinated travelers on certain flights from New York, Los Angeles, Jamaica, and Athens submitted their credentials in paper or digital formats before boarding the plane.
Only two travelers’ credentials were refused, despite the fact that 99 percent of their documents were validated as genuine.
There was a mismatch between the name on the immunization card and the name on the passport in one example, and someone who had been fully vaccinated less than 14 days before travel was in another.
Sir John Bell, regius professor of medicine at Oxford University, told the BBC that focusing on offering extra freedom to fully vaccinated people while people in impoverished nations still lack access to vaccines was “self-indulgent.”
“If you want variants, you’ve got the perfect storm for that, and it’s not in Watford – it’s in Zimbabwe, Rwanda, and South Africa,” he said. Transport Minister Grant Shapps said earlier on Wednesday: “We’ve made excellent achievements on our quest to reinstate international travel, and today is another key step forward.”
“This is progress we can all celebrate, whether it’s a family reuniting for the first time since the pandemic began or a business benefiting from greater commerce.”

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