Covid news: Johnson hints at tighter border rules and says new variant could be more deadly

Clea Skopeliti,Eleanor Sly and Chiara Giordano
·1 min read
People with Covid could be paid £500 (PA)
People with Covid could be paid £500 (PA)

Boris Johnson has hinted that the government may have to introduce more border restrictions to stop new variants of Covid-19 from spreading in the UK.

Speaking at a Downing Street press conference on Friday afternoon, the prime minister warned “we may have to go further”.

It comes amid warnings that a new variant of the virus from South Africa could be more resistant to existing vaccines and also more virulent.

Mr Johnson said briefing the most common variant spreading in the UK appears to be more deadly than the original virus.

There is evidence that it “may be associated with a higher degree of mortality” among those infected, he told the briefing.

It is believed that scientists have found 1.3-fold increased risk of death compared with the old variant of coronavirus.

Sir Patrick Vallance, the UK’s chief scientific adviser, said: “Instead of ten in every 1,000 people in their 60s with Covid passing away, 13 or 14 people “might be expected to die.”