The well being secretary has insisted there is no such thing as a “delay” to the federal government setting out further details on its hotel quarantine plans, regardless of not confirming when such an announcement will be made.
Vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi advised Sky News earlier that Matt Hancock would be setting out further details subsequent week – not at present, as had been prompt by the prime minister at Wednesday’s Downing Road information briefing.
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Requested if this was certainly the case, the well being secretary stated: “After all we’re working at tempo to further strengthen the measures on the border, but we have already put in place isolation for everyone who arrives, wherever they arrive from on the planet.”
Mr Hancock added that ministers “have been working to be sure that we get this proper”.
Labour’s shadow house secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds has criticised the “unacceptable delays” to the introduction of hotel quarantine in a letter to Dwelling Secretary Priti Patel.
And in a tweet, he stated the federal government’s “continued lack of decisive motion” when it comes to coronavirus border safety is “placing lives in danger and will doubtlessly undermine vaccine progress”.
The continued lack of decisive motion from the U.Ok. Authorities on #Covid border safety is placing lives in danger and will doubtlessly undermine vaccine progress.
The British individuals – who’ve made such extraordinary sacrifices all through this pandemic – deserve higher. pic.twitter.com/7RMluroIuX
— Nick Thomas-Symonds MP (@NickTorfaen) February 4, 2021
But Mr Hancock has insisted “there is not a delay, what there may be is figure to be sure that the border is at all times as safe because it wants to be”.
The well being secretary additionally stated he had talked to ministers in Australia on Thursday as a result of they have already got “quarantine lodges”.
Boris Johnson introduced on the finish of final month that UK residents and nationals arriving from greater than 30 “crimson record” international locations will have to quarantine for 10 days in government-provided lodging.
Nations on the record embrace all of South America, southern Africa, Portugal and the United Arab Emirates – international locations from the place non-residents and nationals are already banned from coming into the UK.
The announcement got here after ministers eliminated all the UK’s journey corridors, which means everybody coming again into the nation now has to self-isolate for 10 days, no matter the place they’ve come from.
Individuals travelling to England even have to present they’ve examined unfavorable for the virus inside the final 72 hours.
As well as, the PM has been stressing that underneath England’s nationwide lockdown, it’s at present “unlawful to depart house to journey overseas for leisure functions”.
The hotel quarantine coverage is being launched to keep away from the importation of recent variants of COVID-19, amid fears that they might influence upon the efficacy of vaccines.
Nonetheless, a date for the implementation of necessary quarantine has not been set, prompting criticism not simply from Labour but additionally the journey trade.
The PM advised a Downing Road information convention on Wednesday that the well being secretary would be setting out further details within the Commons on Thursday.
But Quantity 10 later stated this was not the case, leaving hotel bosses unimpressed.
Rob Paterson, chief government of the Greatest Western hotel chain, advised the BBC earlier that he’s nonetheless “but to perceive precisely what protocols are required of the lodges”.
“To today we merely have not heard something, regardless of a number of provides,” he advised Radio 4’s As we speak programme.
“We have all these contacts in different international locations which have already rolled this out for a while. They might provide some actually useful help and we’re simply merely saved at nighttime.”
Labour has been calling for the federal government to go further and make travellers arriving from all international locations go into necessary quarantine.
Since Mr Johnson’s announcement, it has emerged that the authorities’s scientific advisers warned that solely necessary hotel quarantines for all arrivals or a complete border shutdown would maintain COVID mutations at bay.
Labour chief Sir Keir Starmer has accused the federal government of “chaos and confusion” over its quarantine plans.
“Certainly, earlier than you announce preparations like this, you’d have achieved the planning beforehand,” he stated on Thursday.
Sir Keir stated the UK would be “again to sq. one” if a coronavirus variant which is resistant to current vaccines makes its approach into the nation.