The UK is set to make an announcement later Tuesday regarding the use of hotel quarantine, according to vaccine minister Nadhim Zahawi.
Travel to and from the UK has been largely limited since the country suspended its travel corridors on January 18. British media reports the UK government might impose a hotel quarantine on travelers coming from certain countries with known new variants.
Zahawi called hotel quarantine measures "the right thing to do" as the UK "vaccinates more of our population." He warned that the country needs "to be very careful" about imports of the Brazilian and South African variant.
Zahawi also addressed UK vacationers, saying it was "far too early" to "even speculate about the summer," adding that "there's still 37,000 people in hospital with Covid at the moment."
Some background: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Monday the idea of using hotels for UK arrivals for 10 days was “definitely” being “looked at.”
Speaking from a vaccination center in London, Johnson said: “We want to make sure that we protect our population, protect this country against reinfection from abroad. That idea of looking at hotels is certainly one thing we're actively now working on.”
“We have to realize there is at least the theoretical risk of a new variant that is a vaccine-busting variant coming in, we've got to be able to keep that under control,” he added.
Quarantine hotels have been used as a pandemic control measure in several countries, including Australia.
The UK reported 22,195 new Covid-19 infections and 592 new deaths within 28 days of a positive test on Monday.
The total number of people in the UK who have died within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test stands at 98,531, the highest death toll in Europe.
According to government data, 6,573,570 people have received the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, whilst 470,478 people have received the second dose.