Labour warns against rapid new variant spread with travel easing in the UK

There are rising fears that the recent rule that allows travellers to enter the UK without isolating may lead to a new variant 'running rampant.'

Labour warns against rapid new variant spread with travel easing in the UK
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Rising fears

The Labour party has warned that allowing fully-vaccinated travellers from the US and the EU into England without the need to quarantine could lead to a new coronavirus variant 'running rampant.'

Speaking the day after ministers confirmed the plan, the shadow transport secretary Jim McMahon said international travel should open up 'safely.'

He added that the country does not want to see another variant 'run rampant' and 'damage the effort of the British public.'

The Welsh government also expressed its opposition to the move, saying it 'regrets' the lifting of the quarantine rule in England.

Like England and Scotland, Wales will not require jabbed travellers from the US and EU to quarantine from Monday, with its leaders saying it would be 'ineffective' to have a different policy to England.

British travellers are currently not allowed to enter the US, and it is unclear when this will change.

A third dose

Elsewhere, Pfizer has said that a third dose of its vaccine could 'strongly' increase protection against the Delta variant. Its second dose offers protection for at least six months, the company said.

Lifting the quarantine requirement for fully-vaccinated travellers from the US and the EU could allow a new variant to 'run rampant', Labour has warned.

The warning comes the day after ministers confirmed the restriction would be lifted from Monday.

Responding to the government’s announcement, Jim McMahon, the shadow transport secretary, said:

The government’s track record on our borders has been one of recklessness and confusion.
They are in danger of continuing this by setting out changes in policy, applying to England only, without the scientific data and criteria we need to make sure we don’t see another Johnson variant run rampant through the country and damage the effort of the British public.

Scotland and Wales later announced they would both be following England’s lead.