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Sajid Javid has admitted air passengers from South Africa were not tested on arrival into the UK on Friday – despite fears they could be carrying the Omicron variant.
They travelled on from airports in normal ways – including on public transport – and were only then asked to take Covid tests and to go into isolation if they tested positive, 保健大臣は言った.
Speaking on the BBC’s アンドリューマーショー, Mr Javid confirmed face masks would once again be compulsory in shops and on public transport from Tuesday. 日 2 PCR tests for all arrivals will also be re-introduced from 4am the same day.
He also revealed the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation will advise within a few days on expanding booster jabs to under-40s and cutting the six-month gap after a second jab.
ついさっき, the health secretary said England was “nowhere near” introducing tougher Covid restrictions such as social distancing, or working from home.
It comes after the first two cases – which are “linked” and have been connected to travel to southern Africa – were located in England late on Friday.
Expert disagrees with claim Omicron variant is milder form of coronavirus
Professor Sir Mark Walport, chief executive of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), has disagreed with claims that the Omicron variant is a milder form of coronavirus.
Speaking to LBC on Sunday, 彼は言った: “The number of people is still quite small, and it’s a younger population, so there’s no reason to think that there’s going to be a milder disease.”
Not bus drivers’ role to enforce mask wearing, says Unite
Unite national officer for passenger transport Bobby Morton said: “It is not sufficient to announce that face masks will once again become compulsory, this policy has got to be fully enforced in order to protect public health.
“The government’s previous inconsistent messaging on face mask wearing is almost certainly going to result in a high degree of non-compliance.
“Unite’s advice to bus drivers is clear: it is not their role to enforce mask wearing, their responsibility is to safely drive and operate the bus. The job of enforcing mask wearing is that of the bus operator and the police.
“Unite has consistently warned that the requirement to wear face masks should never have been removed while rates of Covid-19 remained high. It is only the arrival of the new variant which has forced the government to act.”
From 4am on Tuesday, all international arrivals into the UK will have to take a PCR test either upon entry or within one of the two following days.
The traveller must also self-isolate on arrival until a negative result is received.
Our travel correspondent サイモン・カルダー explains the new rules in full here:
New rules take effect at 4am on Tuesday30 November
Further travel restrictions may be necessary, Nicola Sturgeon warns
More restrictions on travel may be needed in Scotland to combat the threat posed by the new Omicron variant of coronavirus, Nicola Sturgeon has warned.
The first minister spoke out as new travel restrictions were imposed by the UK government after two cases of the new Covid-19 strain were confirmed in England.
Scotland will also impose the travel restrictions, which will see all passengers arriving in the UK required to take a PCR test and remain in isolation until they receive a negative result.
That will apply to everyone, regardless of their vaccination status.
While no cases of the Omicron variant have been confirmed in Scotland as yet, Ms Sturgeon warned that further travel restrictions may be necessary.
Majority of Omicron cases seen by doctors in South Africa have been ‘mild’, says health minister
South Africa health minister Joe Phaahla said he had heard anecdotally that the majority of cases of Omicron seen by doctors in his country had been “mild”.
Asked on LBC what he knew about how unwell people were who had contracted it, Dr Phaahla said: “It is still too early at this stage.
“Some of what I’ve read from some of our clinicians has been that thus far they have not witnessed severe illness. Part of it may be because the majority of those who are positive are young people.”
He also said a greater proportion of older people were vaccinated, 追加する: “また, it may be because it’s younger people out of whom only 26 per cent of people are vaccinated.”
Authorities expected to announce how many Omicron cases found in Netherlands
Dutch health authorities are expected to announce how many cases of the Omicron coronavirus variant have been found in the Netherlands later today, 後 61 people who flew from South Africa tested positive for coronavirus.
オランダ’ Institute for Health (RIVM) said it believed the new variant was present in at least some of the positive cases found among some 600 passengers who were tested on arrival from two flights from South Africa on Friday.
A RIVM spokesperson said on Saturday it was “almost certain” it had identified cases of the new variant, but further testing was needed, and the institute will not say how many until it is sure.
‘Matter of hours’ before Omicron variant detected in France, says health minister
The Omicron variant of the coronavirus is probably already circulating in France, the country’s health minister has said, adding that the government is tightening restrictions to contain its spread.
“There is no identification yet, but it’s a matter of hours,” Olivier Veran told reporters at a vaccination centre in Paris.
Air passengers from South Africa were not tested on arrival into UK and travelled home ‘in normal way’, Sajid Javid admits
Health secretary Sajid Javid has admitted air passengers from South Africa were not tested on arrival into the UK on Friday and travelled home “in the normal way” despite fears they could be carrying the Omicron variant.
私たちの副政治編集者 ロブ・メリック 完全な物語を持っています:
UK does not know how many arrivals were infected – after 10 per cent on one flight to Netherlands tested positive
Union raises concerns about enforcement of face masks on public transport
The Rail, Maritime and Transport union has raised concerns about enforcement of face masks, which will once again be compulsory on public transport and in shops from Tuesday.
General secretary Mick Lynch said: “We support the wearing of masks but there are major issues about enforcement and it is our members left in the front line with angry passengers who refuse to comply.
“The government must make the resources available to police this reintroduction of masks.
“We also need to end this disjointed approach and get some consistency that avoids the chaos and confusion that is a hallmark of this administration.”
Testing and isolation rules to change from 4am Tuesday
According to a message on the passenger locator form section of the government’s website, testing and isolation requirements will change for people travelling into the UK from 4am on Tuesday.
The message says: “後 04.00 火曜日 30 11月 2021 lateral flow tests will no longer be accepted and all travellers arriving into UK will be required to book and take Covid-19 PCR tests.”