OMICRON TESTING: Calls for pre-departure Covid tests in response to Omicron variant
Boris Johnson is under pressure to further tighten testing requirements for travel in response to the Omicron variant of coronavirus.
Leaked papers from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) suggested testing people for Covid before they travel to the UK would be “valuable”.
The documents, seen by the BBC, also said the Government’s current policy of testing people within two days of arrival in the country would identify “significantly fewer cases” than having additional tests on days five or eight.
The advice was contained in minutes of a meeting of the eminent scientists on Monday and has been seized on by Labour, which has called for pre-departure tests for everyone coming to the UK.
Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said: “It is totally unacceptable that ministers are failing to take action at the border when even their own advisers are telling them to introduce pre-departure tests.
“It cannot be right that people can travel to an airport, board a busy flight, queue at busy departure gates, and travel on trains and buses in the UK, all without having taken a test.
“The Government must not repeat the mistakes it made earlier in the pandemic by being too slow to take action to prevent further cases of the Omicron variant entering the UK.”
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