The UK government is considering a full border closure, the environment secretary has revealed.
All travel corridors closed on Monday (18 January), meaning people arriving in the country have to quarantine for 10 days, or produce a negative Covid-19 test after five days of self-isolation.
On top of this, people must have a negative test result from within 72 hours before their arrival - but it seems travel into the country could be banned completely.
Asked about a full border closure to foreign visitors, George Eustice told Sky News: "We always keep these things under review and it is being considered.
"There is concern at the moment about the number of mutant strains there are. Different strains of this coronavirus are cropping up in different countries.
"There is concern that one day there may be a strain that can evade the vaccine.
"That's why last week the PM toughened up the current restrictions, we think that's the right approach for now, but it's something that we'll keep under review.
"We can't rule anything about but for now [the new restrictions] we think are sufficient."
Eustice wouldn't be drawn on when the current lockdown in England might end, again stating that it is being kept 'under review'.
He said: "We have been straight with people and said this will go on for as long as it needs to, we do have this more virulent strain.
"We don't want to be in lockdown a moment longer than necessary... obviously it's incredibly disruptive for people's lives, incredibly disruptive to the economy, but we're not going to come out until it's safe to do so.
"We've been very clear, we keep this under review... it's reviewed every couple of weeks, given that it's quite a dynamic, fast-moving situation."
George Eustice says once all vulnerable groups are vaccinated, which he says will happen in "late spring/ early summer", he believes it will be possible to "return to life much closer to normal"
Read the latest here: https://t.co/vwjVsHcUlR pic.twitter.com/jPnJ7ptLpq
- Sky News (@SkyNews) January 22, 2021
Asked about the possibility of booking foreign holidays, Eustice replied: "There is light at the end of the tunnel, once we get all of those vulnerable cohorts vaccinated... I think it will be possible to return to life much closer to normal."
The latest data shows that more than 4.74 million jabs have been administered in England, with the government claiming it is on track to hit its target of vaccinating the top four priority groups by 15 February.
Featured Image Credit: PA
- Passengers travel on full-size self-driving bus for the first time in the UK
- New Law Being Considered That Would See Netflix Prosecuted Over Jimmy Carr Joke, MP Says
- Boris Johnson Gives Speech Confirming Resignation As Prime Minister
- David Blaine spent same amount of days sat in glass box as Liz Truss lasted as prime minister