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HomeLive StreamBoris Johnson under pressure to toughen border controls to stop mutant strains

Boris Johnson under pressure to toughen border controls to stop mutant strains


The deadly South African and Brazilian variants, both of which are more resistant to vaccines, now account for 40 per cent of new cases in some areas of France, according to data shown to ministers.

Both Chris Whitty, England’s chief medical officer, and his deputy Jonathan Van-Tam, are said to be “very concerned” because most people travelling from France do not have to quarantine, The Times reported.

One MP reported: “Anyone on that call would understand that he thinks the ‘red list’ needs expanding.

“France was the one that kept coming up but Germany was also mentioned because of increased numbers of variants.”

Cabinet ministers are in “advanced discussions” about plans to force hauliers to take lateral flow tests on their arrival in an attempt to control the spread of the mutant variants.

After the Prime Minister said this week that a third wave of cases building in Europe could “wash up on our shores”, Professor Calum Semple, a member of the Government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, said even with Britain’s high vaccination rate, “there is a likelihood of a third wave in potentially July and August time, when we do unlock society”.

Mr Johnson will spend Wednesday afternoon in front of the Liaison Committee, made up of Commons select committee chairs.

He will be asked about his response to coronavirus after the UK marked the anniversary of the first national lockdown.

The Prime Minister said he hoped to give more information about foreign travel on April 5, a week before the Government’s global travel task force is due to report.

“A lot of people do want to know about what’s going to happen on the holiday front and I know there’s a great deal of curiosity and interest,” Mr Johnson said at a No 10 press conference.

“All I can say is it’s just too early to say and my advice is to everybody to wait for the global travel task force to report.

“We’ve heard already that there are other European countries where the disease is now rising so things certainly look difficult for the time being but we will be able to say more we hope in a few days’ time, I certainly hope to say more by April 5.”

Under the current road map for easing restrictions, the earliest date people in England could go on holiday abroad would be May 17.


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