The British government defended the pace and scale of COVID-19’s response to the new Omicron strain on Sunday against criticism that it is once again obsolete.
Health Minister Sajid Javid says forced mask wear will return to British stores and public transport on Tuesday, planning “normal” Christmas for families despite new rules for fighting Omicron variants I told you to do it.
Also from Tuesday, all passengers arriving in the UK will be instructed to undergo a COVID-19 PCR test and self-quarantine until negative.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced stricter measures at a press conference arranged in a hurry on Saturday, but did not specify when they would come into effect.
Johnson and other senior conservatives continued to open their borders to foreign travelers in the early days of the pandemic despite soaring infection rates, one of the world’s worst per capita deaths from COVID. Was widely criticized for his travel and quarantine policies.
NS government Controversial, after the previous blockade, England’s Maskman Date was withdrawn in July, but the delegated administrations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland maintained it.
It is expected that all four UK countries will adopt the same PCR rules after the UK diverges again in July. This is because it requires only simple lateral flow tests for airplane, ship, and train passengers.
Traveling from 10 South African countries is currently banned due to Omicron, but Javid admitted on Friday that hundreds of passengers arrived untested on flights from South Africa.
But he told the BBC TV: “I don’t think we acted any faster.”
Javid has ruled out the reintroduction of social distance rules and telecommuting guidance. These were also controversially destroyed in Britain earlier this year, contrary to the advice of government scientists.
Javid said it is premature to determine the efficacy of existing vaccines against Omicron as pharmaceutical companies are rushing to research new treatments for emergency strains.
However, the government has expanded the deployment of booster jabs, shortening the time frame between the second and third shots, and the age range, seeking approval from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization (JCVI). Has been expanded to over 18 years old.
According to Javid, JCVI will be available early next week.
He added that no further cases of Omicron were detected in the United Kingdom after the government confirmed the first two cases on Saturday. Both are related to travel from southern Africa.
The opposition Labor Party said the government was again too few and too late after the advent of Omicron.
After Tuesday, passengers will be able to enter the UK and travel freely from their place of entry without pre-departure testing. public transportSaid Lisa Nandy, a Labor Party diplomatic spokeswoman.
“We desperately want to see them tighten Travel restrictions“She said in Sky News.
“There is a real problem when the government has been warned that there are holes in their defenses for 18 months and still has not taken action to block them.”
© 2021 AFP
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