Government 'concerned' about Brazilian Covid-19 variant entering UK

Boris Johnson has insisted that additional measures be taken to prevent a Brazilian variant of coronavirus from entering the UK.

Speaking to the Liaison Committee today (Jan. 13), the Prime Minister said the government was “concerned” about the South American exposure.

He said: “We are concerned about the new Brazilian variant … We already have strict measures … to protect this country from new infections from abroad.

“We are taking steps to do this in relation to the Brazilian variant.”

Home Affairs Committee chair Yvette Cooper questioned the prime minister extensively about border measures, saying the nation could have “stronger quarantine and controls, as a great many other countries do”.

She said, “We were warned about the Brazilian variant three days ago. We don’t yet know if this might undermine the vaccination program. So why not take immediate precautionary measures?” She asked.

Mr Johnson replied, “Well, it is us and we are taking additional measures to ensure that people from Brazil are controlled and actually stop people from Brazil.”

Ms. Cooper asked, “Are you, this is a new announcement?”

“No, I’m sorry, I said we looked at the question of whether the Brazilian variant is immune or not,” he said.

When asked if this means a new travel ban for Brazil, he said, “We are taking steps to ensure we don’t see this new variant imported from Brazil.”

Ms. Cooper repeatedly put pressure on what exactly these steps are, which Mr. Johnson cited the in-depth negative testing plans on before departure was required.


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