Britain to test all travellers twice for COVID-19 upon arrival - GulfToday

Britain to test all travellers twice for COVID-19 upon arrival


A passenger arrives at Heathrow Airport. File

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.

The government previously announced quarantine measures starting on Feb.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 next week.

The UK government did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Meanwhile, German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said he was angry that more COVID-19 vaccines were not ordered last year as EU chief executive Ursula von der Leyen renewed her defence of the European Commission's record on rolling them out.

EU countries have so far given first doses to just under 4% of their populations, compared with 11% for the United States and almost 17% for Britain, according to Our World in Data. Von der Leyen has been under fire for the EU's slow rollout.

"I'm angry about some of the decisions that were taken last year," Scholz told BBC radio's Today programme. "I think there had been the opportunity to order more of the vaccines."

Asked about von der Leyen's responsibility for the slow rollout, Scholz, speaking in English, replied: "I think it is necessary that anyone learns the lesson, and this is also (true) for Europe. I think the European Union is strong."

Scholz, a Social Democrat, and von der Leyen, a Christian Democrat, served together in Germany's ruling coalition until 2019, when she quit to take over as European Commission president.

In an opinion piece to run in Sunday's Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung, von der Leyen said it was misleading to say that sealing vaccine contracts earlier would have speeded up their delivery.


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