UK imposes tighter Covid-19 quarantine measures at border as schools stay shut

LONDON (BLOOMBERG) – Prime Minister Boris Johnson said schools will stay closed until at least March 8 as he tightened UK border rules to require all travellers arriving from virus hot spots to quarantine for 10 days.

The premier is drawing up a longer-term blueprint for lifting the national lockdown, in which a return to face-to-face teaching will be prioritised.

But as the country mourns 100,000 deaths from the pandemic, Mr Johnson warned that the existing restrictions will need to stay in place, and in some cases will be tightened.

Mr Johnson confirmed tougher border quarantine measures will be imposed on passengers arriving in the UK from hot spot regions such as South America, South Africa and Portugal.

“In order to reduce the risk posed by UK nationals and residents returning home from these countries, I can announce that we will require all such arrivals who cannot be refused entry to isolate in government-provided accommodation such as hotels for 10 days, without exception,” the prime minister told members of Parliament Wednesday (Jan 27).

“They will be met at the airport and transported directly into quarantine.”

The government had planned to review the lockdown and potentially begin school reopening moves after Feb 15 but the prime minister announced that this will not be possible.

Instead, the aim is to allow children back into classrooms from March 8, Mr Johnson said.

This will be the first step in lockdown easing, he added.

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