BRITAIN was announce whether it will bring in mandatory quarantine in hotels for some or all arrivals, the country’s coronavirus vaccination minister said as he warned the public not to book summer vacations.

According to Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was looking at the option of introducing quarantine hotels for those coming to Britain to prevent the risk of “vaccine-busting” new coronavirus variants entering the country.

Meanwhile Nadhim Zahawi, the minister responsible for the rollout of the United Kingdom’s COVID-19 vaccination programme, said details would come later on Tuesday.

“The government is looking at, as the prime minister has confirmed, the hotel quarantine policy, and we’ll make an announcement on this in the appropriate way,” he told BBC TV.

Home Secretary (interior minister) Priti Patel, whose department is responsible for border security, told parliament existing measures were under review and the government would not hesitate to take further action.

“It would be wrong to speculate about any measures that are not in place right now as policy is being developed,” Patel noted.

Britain has suffered a sharp rise in infections and deaths in the new year, fuelled partly by a new more highly contagious variant of the virus first identified in southeast England.

There has been concern about the impact of other strains discovered in South Africa and Brazil, and whether these variants might impact on the effectiveness of vaccines which are seen as key to Britain’s way out from strict lockdown measures.

The country has the world’s fifth worst death toll from the pandemic, with 98,531 people dying within 28 days of a positive test, and one of the deepest economic contractions on record. Official figures on Tuesday showed the unemployment rate had hit its highest level in nearly five years.

The BBC reported the new hotel quarantine requirement would mean arrivals from most of southern Africa and South America, as well as Portugal, would have to isolate in a hotel for 10 days. [reuters/photo special]