There is confusion over when Britain will announce prepare for quarantine hotels, after Downing Street denied claims made by Boris Johnson that an update was due tomorrow.
Speaking at today’s press briefing, the prime minister stated Matt Hancock would lay out plans tomorrow, but Downing Street have actually now stated that was a ‘misinterpreting’.
Earlier today Health Secretary Matt Hancock refused to give a timetable for when quarantine hotels could be up and running.
It comes as the PM firmly insisted ‘shutting ourselves off entirely’ is not an alternative because the countries relies greatly on imports of food and medicine.
But he stated the federal government had actually taken action to limit travel, pointing to the ban on travel from alternative hotspots.
The remarks came in the middle of indications that Spain might be contributed to the ‘red list’ of nations based on take a trip restrictions, as cases rise greatly there. The roster already consists of 33 states including South Africa, South America and Portugal as well as the UAE.
Speaking from Downing Street on Wednesday evening, Mr Johnson said: ‘If you do come here from one of those countries, then you will be, as we have actually said, taken and put in special lodging.
‘ The health secretary will be making an additional announcement about that tomorrow.’
A source at Number 10 informed The Mirror tonight that was a ‘misinterpreting’.
Officials have actually also been looking at tightening up exemptions to the travel guidelines, amid issues that some are being exploited by people looking for to get around the vacation restriction.
Boris Johnson tonight alerted that Britain can not close its borders totally to prevent mutant coronavirus pressures getting in. He also said Matt Hancock would be offering an upgrade on strategies to quarantine arrivals in hotels tomorrow, however Downing Street has actually since claimed this was a ‘misunderstanding’.
Spain might be added to the ‘red list’ of countries subject to travel restrictions, as cases increase dramatically there. The roster currently includes 33 states consisting of South Africa, South America and Portugal in addition to the UAE.
Mr Hancock had earlier today declined to verify whether quarantine hotels for global arrivals will open this month.
The Government revealed the policy aimed at limiting the spread of brand-new coronavirus stress last week, however has actually not exposed when it will be implemented.
Mr Hancock was asked by LBC if the scheme will be released by the end of February.
The Cabinet minister responded: ‘We’ll set out more details of that when we’re all set to, however you’ve seen that we’re completely prepared to take very hard action if that’s what’s needed.’.
He went on: ‘Currently there is the really clear legal guidelines – with the strong enforcement behind it – that we’ve now put in place for any person getting in the nation as a guest at all.
‘ Whether that is seclusion in your own house or in hotels, it is isolation.
‘ However we’re constantly available to taking a look at harder steps.’.
Mr Hancock had previously today refused to confirm whether quarantine hotels for international arrivals will open this month. The proposition was revealed last week, however the Health Secretary could not give a timeline of when it will be used, informing LBC: ‘We’ll set out more details of that when we’re all set to’.
The border crackdown comes amidst worries the South African version is currently loose in the UK, and other more potent mutant stress might minimize the efficiency of the vaccine drive. Envisioned, Heathrow Airport.
Speaking at a Downing Street instruction tonight, Mr Johnson dismissed the idea that the federal government was not being strict enough.
‘ We have amongst the hardest border regimes now throughout the world, we’re limiting as much as we can, any risk of importing new infection into this nation without completely separating the UK economy,’ he said.
He said it was ‘unlawful to go on holiday’, which guests getting here from a list of countries around the world will be ‘taken and put in unique accommodation’.
The federal government transferred to strengthen the border regime last week, revealing that the restriction on tourists from 33 ‘hotspot’ countries will be tightened up so returning Britons and the few other permitted individuals will need to go into ‘quarantine hotels’ at their own cost for 10 days.
However the strategy was the subject of a remarkable Cabinet tussle, with Priti Patel and Mr Hancock among those promoting even tougher action.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock (left) protected the present ‘rigid’ steps – however explained that even harsher arrangements are in the pipeline. Transportation Secretary Grant Shapps (ideal) struck a various tone as he provided proof to MPs.
Fears have been installing that the South African variation is currently loose in the UK, and other more potent mutant strains might minimize the effectiveness of the vaccine drive.
Senior Tories have signed up with Labour in calling for the countries covered by the constraints to be broadened, and Nicola Sturgeon turned up the heat the other day by revealing Scotland will unilaterally force all arrivals to quarantine.
In a direct attack on the Prime Minister’s technique, the First Minister said it would not work and called on him to mirror her method, informing MSPs at Holyrood: ‘The firm view of the Scottish Government is that in order to reduce the risk of new stress entering into the country, managed quarantine must be much more thorough.’.
At PMQs, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer demanded to understand why ministers had not followed the views of scientists two weeks ago that a ‘pre-emptive closure of borders or the obligatory quarantine of all visitors upon arrival’ was the only way to stem the circulation of variations.
But Mr Johnson said the UK had among the ‘most difficult programs in the world’ and stressed that ‘quarantine hotels’ are being generated for high-risk nations – although he did not suggest when.
‘ It is not useful completely to shut off this nation as he appears to be recommending. What is useful to do is have among the most difficult programs worldwide and to get on with vaccinating the people of this nation,’ the premier said.
The exchanges followed Mr Hancock stated UK border rules will get harder to protect versus emerging pressures.
‘ We are also looking to reinforce procedures in specific for those countries that have the greatest threat,’ he said in a round of interviews.
Mr Hancock soft-pedaled alarm that minister declined SAGE advice on the need for a border crackdown, saying scientists desired ‘necessary isolation’ for arrivals which is what had actually been introduced.
‘ I am up for reinforcing that further and we are looking at that,’ he added.
Nevertheless, he consistently refused to offer any schedule for the intro of ‘quarantine hotels’, amid fear that the policy is still weeks far from being all set to execute.
Mr Hancock stated: ‘The federal government brought in mandatory self-isolation for each guest entering this country … now you need to separate any place you’ve originated from.’.
Asked about the quarantine hotel strategy he stated: ‘Clearly we are working on those propositions.’.
The Cabinet minister went on: ‘Naturally we are constantly looking to reinforce these things but we currently have extremely rigid measures at the border.’.
However amidst fresh signs of stress in Cabinet, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps struck a different tone as he gave proof to MPs.
He insisted the UK could not do a complete Australia-style lockdown with blanket ‘hotel quarantine’ rules because it was an ‘island’ and needed food imports.
On suggestions the ‘red list’ of travel restriction countries will be expanded, Mr Shapps informed the transport committee: ‘It may go to more in the future … we merely don’t understand until the infection decides what it wants to do.’.
He stated: ‘Individuals state” why do not we simply shut down and then we’ll be safe?”.
Boris Johnson firmly insisted closing off the nation completely was ‘not practical’ as he clashed bitterly with Keir Starmer in the Commons this afternoon.
‘ But, of course, we wouldn’t be safe, because we are an island nation– unlike Australia or something which is an entire continent– which means that we require to get medicines in, we require to get food in, we need to get our raw materials in, sometimes we have to move people around, researchers and others.
‘ If we weren’t doing these things then we just wouldn’t be combating this crisis. In truth, specifically we wouldn’t have actually had things like the medicines that we require or undoubtedly the vaccinations, some of which are manufactured in Europe, only 20 miles away at its closest point.’.
He included: ‘The idea that the UK might entirely button down its hatches and remain buttoned down for a year is incorrect.
‘ But likewise the evidence that is the only thing that you need to do, or even the main thing you require to do, is also quite unstable.’.
A dripped Sage document from last month warned that ‘geographically targeted travel restrictions’ would not suffice to stop new stress entering the country.
Labour seized on the caution, stating ministers ought to now force all tourists arriving in the UK to go through ten days of supervised quarantine in hotels.
Labour veteran Dame Angela Eagle said the Government had done ‘too little and far too late to stop the spread of this brand-new and harmful variation in the UK.’.
However Downing Street firmly insisted Sage backed Federal government’s propositions.
The Prime Minister’s spokesperson said: ‘Sage did not actually recommend the Government to completely close borders or call for a blanket quarantine on travels.Their modelling showed a mix of particular policy choices– including pre-departure screening and seclusion– are effective in alleviating the general public health danger.’.
Arrivals from ‘red list’ countries are set to have to isolate in hotels at their own expenditure. It is not known if this hotel will be associated with the scheme, which is still being hammered out.
However, some Tory MPs signed up with the calls for a tightening up of controls to avoid the arrival of Covid stress resistant to the vaccine.
Tom Tugendhat, chairman of the Commons foreign affairs committee, said: ‘We are doing a great job in presenting the vaccine, but there is no point heating your house and leaving the windows open.’.
Previous health secretary Jeremy Hunt told Sky News: ‘I believe we must have done this much earlier, but I am happy that we are doing something.
‘ I think it is absolutely right that we are generating hotel quarantine.
‘ The difficulty with just doing it for a couple of countries is that somebody pertaining to the UK from Brazil might go by means of many other nations.
‘ It is very challenging if you limit it to a little number of countries. So we may need to broaden that list significantly as we move forward.’.
The Cabinet Workplace is likewise performing an immediate evaluation of exemptions from the travel restrictions.
One Whitehall source stated: ‘The exemptions are drawn too extensively. At the minute, for example, people can travel to look for a vacation home and some are utilizing that to get round the rules on vacations.
‘ We have got to decrease the circulation of arrivals right down. We are making it truly tough to take a trip, but we need to make it even harder.’