The UK Government is today expected to approve quarantine hotel plans for travellers arriving from 30 countries across South America and Africa, over fears of new Covid-19 variants.
However Linda Bauld, professor of public health at the University of Edinburgh, told BBC Breakfast today that the scheme may need to be applied “more comprehensively”, as the virus spreads abroad.
“I can see that the UK Government may decide to start with countries where variants are a real concern, but I think going forward we’re going to have to apply that more comprehensively,” she told the programme.
“I think it’s difficult for us in the UK to think about a system like this but it’s absolutely essential.
“If you look at the genomics work that’s being done, looking at where the virus has come from – for example in the summer up here in Scotland, we got down to two cases on July 12, and tiny numbers in that month of July.
“And then as we headed into the late summer the genomic studies show us that we reimported the virus from overseas and from elsewhere in the UK into the country because of travel.
“And the overseas issue is something we can do something about, so adopting a model a bit like south-east Asian countries, Australia or New Zealand, where we have quarantine that is not just voluntary like it is now, but supported quarantine – that will mean hotels for some people.”