Boris Johnson faces growing pressure to shut down UK borders to protect jab programme

Border controls should follow a ‘stricter strategy’ says expert

Oksana Pyzik said that “better border control” would help protect the vaccination programme and would help lead the UK to the eventual easing of the lockdown. Ms Pyzik said that with the success of the country’s vaccine rollout it is crucial that this opportunity is not wasted “by allowing further community transmission.”  Speaking on LBC he UCL School of Pharmacy lecturer said new Covid strains which have now developed “could put us back at square one.”

She told LBC’s Iain Dale: “From a public health perspective it is going to be more effective if there is a coordinated approach across all four nations and for the borders controls to follow more strict strategy.

“This is particularly important because the UK has been about three steps behind this virus at every stage of the pandemic.

“Now things are turning around with the success, the very rapid rate of vaccinations across the UK

“We cannot put that at risk by allowing further community transmission especially of these variants.”

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“it could potentially but as back at square one even if we hear from these companies, in theory, saying yes we can make tweaks but again that’s in theory.

“What happens when there is more opportunity for that transmission to occur,” Ms Pyzik explained. 

“Not only do we have the South African variant that we see can be from that study in Cambridge reduce anti-bodies to the extent it can be more dangerous.

“But also just the fact that if we are allowing that transmission to happen then there is more opportunity for other variants to occur.”

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She added: “So we need to protect the success of the vaccination programme and one of the things that we can do towards turning this situation around, better border control.

“Which means we can then shift toward reopening internally.”

Urgent testing for the South Africa variant of coronavirus is beginning in parts of England after cases were found with no known links to travel or previous cases.

Door-to-door testing for the South African mutation of COVID-19 is due to begin in England after multiple cases were reported in different parts of the country.

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The South African variant was previously only found in those linked to travel from South Africa.

However, following new cases not related to travel to South Africa, surge testing will now be carried out.

This testing will take place in areas including parts of London, the South East, the West Midlands, the North West and East of England.

Matt Hancock announced on Monday night there are more than 100 confirmed cases of the South African Covid variant in the UK. 

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