UK plans to introduce two mandatory Covid-19 tests for incoming travellers
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UK plans to introduce two mandatory Covid-19 tests for incoming travellers

Credit: Belga

The United Kingdom plans to subject all travellers arriving in the country to two Covid-19 tests after arrival to prevent the importation of variants of the new coronavirus, British media report on Tuesday.

The measure provides for a test on the second and eighth days of a mandatory 10-day quarantine, the media said. It is in addition to the requirement for all travellers arriving in the UK to present a negative test for coronavirus before departure.

Health Minister Matt Hancock is due to announce this measure to Members of Parliament on Tuesday.

Hancock is also due to detail the arrangements for hotel isolation, in force from 15 February, for British residents arriving from some 30 countries considered to be high-risk, including South Africa, where a new variant considered to be more virulent is circulating.

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With nearly 113,000 deaths, the UK has the worst death toll in Europe.

The country is currently under strict confinement after suffering an outbreak of infections attributed to the more contagious variant that appeared in southern England. As of 8 February, 3,959,784 cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in the UK.

It is counting on vaccination to gradually ease the restrictions, and has already administered 12,294,006 first doses since the campaign was launched in early December, and 512,581 people have received their second dose.

The UK is hoping to have vaccinated its most vulnerable groups – some 15 million people – by mid-February.

Jason Spinks
The Brussels Times