© Reuters. Britain’s Secretary for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, George Eustice, arrives in Downing Street in London
LONDON (Reuters) – Britain is seeking further testing of all people who have arrived from abroad as they isolate themselves to defend against new variants of the virus that causes COVID-19, a minister said Tuesday. Airlines have fallen to their knees over the pandemic, with travel restrictions forcing once-rapidly growing brands like Norwegian to fight for survival, while established names like British Airways have raised cash and laid off thousands of employees. ITV (LON 🙂 reported that all international arrivals should be tested for COVID-19 on the second and eighth day of their self-isolation. “We are constantly looking to refine our approach to the border simply because there is a risk of new variants coming from other countries around the world,” Environment Secretary George Eustice told Times Radio. “Until we have fully implemented the vaccine and have identified a way that we can update the vaccine to meet new challenges, we have to exercise some caution with international travel,” he said. Arrivals in England must have proof of a negative COVID-19 test within the last three days and then self-isolate for 10 days from departure. The British government will require travelers arriving from COVID-19 hotspots to quarantine themselves in hotels from February 15. Travelers from high-risk countries like South Africa would have to stay 10 days in such hotels. But the government is still in talks with hotels about the measures, which were introduced in places like Australia in March 2020. “Those discussions are not finished yet, so there are no hotels yet,” Eustice told LBC Radio.