Brazil covid variant now found in 15 countries NOT on UK's red quarantine list
THE Brazil Covid variant has now been found in 23 countries around the world – and 15 of them aren't on the UK's red quarantine list.
The World Health Organisation revealed that more countries have now reported the P1 strain, first reported in the UK but originally from Brazil.
Health officials revealed at the weekend they had found six cases of the Brazil variant in the UK.
Three are in England and three in Scotland – and experts are concerned the vaccines may not be as effective against it.
And the hunt is on for one person who didn't fill in their contact details correctly and may have no idea they were carrying it.
Ministers stressed there was no wider threat to the public – and there is not community transmission of the new variant.
Brits living in five postcodes where the Brazilian variant has been found were told to get tested.
Anyone who comes in from a red list country has to quarantine for 10 days in a hotel – and pay £1,750 to do so.
They will be tested at least twice once they are there.
But more countries are reporting cases of the new variant, but haven't yet been added to the list of banned nations.
The list includes Canada and the United States, France, Germany, Spain, Japan, Mexico, India, Italy and the Republic of Korea.
Other cases are in the process of being verified in several other countries too – including Ireland.
Matt Hancock told last night's Covid briefing that the number of cases found in these countries was "exceptionally low" and the red list was for countries where they were found in much greater numbers.
Nick Thomas-Symonds, Labour’s shadow home secretary, called for the Government to tighten up border controls.
He added: “UK government action is consistently too little, too late,” he said. “What is needed is a comprehensive hotel quarantine system without delay.”
Scotland has said it will quarantine everyone coming into the UK in hotels – no matter where they are from.
Everyone who travels into the country from abroad has to stay inside for ten days – unless they are on an exempt list.
But only those from red list countries must stay in the designated hotels.
Yesterday the PM defended the borders system as one of the toughest in the world.
He said they had acted as quickly as possible
List of countries on UK’s red list – forcing people to quarantine when they return
- Cape Verde
- Democratic Republic of the Congo
- French Guiana
- Portugal (including Madeira and the Azores)
- South Africa
- United Arab Emirates (UAE)
It is thought to be more contagious and there is a chance it may not respond as well to the jab – although no vaccine data for it exists.
Danny Altmann, a professor of immunology at Imperial College, said it looks likely the Brazilian variant is "breaking through" antibodies built up by previous infection.
Asked if it is impossible to keep the door shut to new strains coming in to the UK, he added: "It's a really, really hard challenge. The border controls, test and trace and containment hasn't been our biggest strength.
"We see these variants popping up variably all over the world, so we're just as liable to suffer from a homegrown one as an imported one.
"So we just need to be really on the case all the time."
Anyone who took a test on February 12 or 13 but didn't receive their result or has an uncompleted test registration card is urged to call 119 in England or 0300 303 2713 in Scotland for assistance as soon as possible.
List of where the World Health Organisation has found the P.1 Brazil variant
- Belgium (not on the red list)
- Canada (not on the red list)
- Faroe Islands (not on the red list)
- Finland (not on the red list)
- France (not on the red list)
- French Guiana
- Germany (not on the red list)
- India (not on the red list)
- Italy (not on the red list)
- Japan (not on the red list)
- Mexico (not on the red list)
- Netherlands (not on the red list)
- Republic of Korea (not on the red list)
- Réunion (not on the red list)
- Sri Lanka (not on the red list)
- United Arab Emirates
- USA (not on the red list)
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