Risk of 'vaccine-busting' new variants prompting tougher UK border control, Johnson says

by Reuters
Monday, 25 January 2021 11:14 GMT

(Edits headline and lead, adds quotes)

LONDON, Jan 25 (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday he was looking at toughening the United Kingdom's border controls because of the risk of "vaccine-busting" new variants of the coronavirus.

"We have to realise there is at least the theoretical risk of a new variant that is a vaccine-busting variant coming in - we've got to be able to keep that under control," Johnson told reporters at a vaccination centre.

"We want to make sure that we protect our population, protect this country against reinfection from abroad," Johnson said. "We need a solution."

He said the government was looking at the option of quarantine hotels but that the United Kingdom had one of the tightest regimes in the world.

"That idea of looking at hotels is certainly one thing that we are actively now working on," he said.

Johnson said the United Kingdom was on target to reach its vaccination targets for vulnerable groups by Feb. 15.

"We are on target to hit our ambition," he said. (Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge and Kate Holton)

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