COVID-19: Minister defends hotel quarantine delay, saying ‘we need time to prepare’ | Politics News

skynews brexit breaking news 5177180

A minister has blamed hotel quarantine not coming into drive for one more 10 days in England on needing extra “time to put together”, after Labour branded the delay “past comprehension”.

James Cleverly advised Sky News that “hindsight is a superb factor”, as he confronted questions on why the coverage was introduced on 27 January however won’t apply to travellers till 15 February.

A date for the opening of government-provided lodging for folks arriving within the nation from 32 “purple record” international locations was introduced in a single day.

However after cupboard ministers struggled to put a agency date on the change for over every week, Labour stated the measures will “go nowhere close to far sufficient to be efficient in stopping additional variants”.

At the very least 11 instances of the South African variant scientists say vaccines are much less however nonetheless efficient in opposition to have been found throughout England with no hyperlinks to journey.

Mr Cleverly, a International Workplace minister, stated there’s already an “present suite of measures” on the border to strive to cease the import of recent variants, such because the passenger locator type and obligatory isolation upon arrival for 10 days.

“That is about enhancing that quarantine requirement,” he stated, including there are solely “a really restricted set of causes folks ought to be travelling in any respect”.

He added the federal government was speaking to different international locations together with Australia and New Zealand however that “does not imply to say we’ll replicate what they do in each occasion”.

Mr Cleverly didn’t deny that the federal government will foot the invoice for all folks’s hotel quarantine keep, which The Telegraph estimates will value £55 million.

And he dismissed the purpose raised by Labour chief Sir Keir Starmer at PMQs that the coverage ought to apply to all travellers – not simply nationals and residents arriving in England – as a result of within the first wave 0.1% of instances got here from China whereas 62% got here from France and Spain.

“Evaluating what we’re doing now to what occurred firstly is just not that related,” stated Mr Cleverly.

“We all know an enormous deal extra now about the place on this planet the virus is prevalent.”