Downing Street Rejects Sturgeon And Drakeford Calls For Self-Isolation Extension

·2 min read
Sturgeon and Drakeford have called for an emergency Cobra meeting to discuss the spread of the new variant (Photo: HuffPost UK)
Sturgeon and Drakeford have called for an emergency Cobra meeting to discuss the spread of the new variant (Photo: HuffPost UK)

Downing Street has rejected a call from the first ministers of Scotland and Wales to extend self-isolation for arrivals from two to eight days.

The prime minister’s official spokesman said he believed the government’s approach was “proportionate” and warned of the “detrimental” impact it would have on the travel industry.

It comes after Boris Johnson announced that all travellers, regardless of vaccination status, will be required to take a PCR test two days after arrival in the UK and to self-isolate until they receive a negative result.

However, the two leaders of Scotland and Wales want him to go further in response to concerns about the new omicron covid variant.

The PM’s spokesman told journalists: “We believe that the approach we’ve taken is the proportionate one to the evidence that we currently have available about this variant.

“Introducing further isolation requirements and testing requirements would have a detrimental affect on the travel industry and indeed those who are planning to go travelling.

“So our response needs to be balanced based on what we know currently about this variant. We’re taking a precautionary approach we believe it’s responsible and proportionate.

“Obviously, we will keep our measures under review as our evidence about this variant increases.”

It comes after Nicola Sturgeon and Mark Drakeford wrote to Boris Johnson calling for people coming into the UK from overseas to be required to self isolate for eight days – and then do a second PCR test.

They said: “Public health advice is unequivocal that this is the best and safest way to protect against the importation of this variant to the fullest extent possible.”

They also demanded the PM convened an urgent Cobra meeting to discuss taking a four-nations approach to border restrictions.

But the PM’s official spokesman said: “We would confirm any plans for a cobra meeting in the normal way. Currently, there isn’t one scheduled.

“We obviously speak to our devolved administration counterparts very regularly and we will continue to coordinate our response with them.”

The leaders want the UK government to commit to providing the necessary funding to support businesses if “more interventionist measures are required”.

In her Covid briefing this morning, Sturgeon also said Scots should start working from home immediately to curb the spread of the virus.

Six cases of the Omicron variant of coronavirus were identified in Scotland, in addition to three previously identified in England.

This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.

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