Monday, 08 February, 2021

UK likely to test all travellers twice for Covid-19 upon arrival

Britain will test all travellers arriving in the country twice for COVID-19, in an attempt to control the spread of new variants of the virus, the Telegraph reported on Friday.

The government previously announced quarantine measures starting February 15 for people entering the country from COVID-19 hot spots.

Testing will now include arrivals from all countries in addition to those coming from the hot spots, the Telegraph reported, adding that Health Secretary Matt Hancock will announce the plans this week.

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Friday, 05 February, 2021

Australia to quarantine all overseas visitors even after Covid vaccine roll-out

Australia on Friday said it would keep mandatory two-week quarantine for all overseas visitors, even as vaccinations are rolled out across the country and the world,  reports AFP.

Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly said there is still not enough evidence about vaccines' ability to limit transmission to allow the dismantling of border controls that have virtually closed the country off from the world for almost a year.

Most non-citizens are barred from entering Australia; there are strict caps on how many residents can return each day and anyone who does so must undergo two weeks of self-paid hotel quarantine.

A few thousand short-term visitors now enter the country every month, down from more than one million before the pandemic began.

Kelly said that although preliminary data shows the AstraZeneca vaccine does reduce transmission of the virus, the evidence was not yet conclusive enough for Australia to let its guard down.

Asked if quarantine would remain until further notice, Kelly said "yes". "At the moment, that two-week quarantine in hotels -- as has been so successful up till now -- remains regardless of vaccination."

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison meanwhile announced that the government would very slightly ease the caps on overseas arrivals and look into expanding capacity at an existing government-run Outback quarantine camp and developing more facilities.