Travel restrictions have little effect on the spread of COVID-19 mutants: UK study

A new study shows that the impact of travel bans on the spread of CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus variants is “very limited.”

United Kingdom National Health Service (NHS).

Studies have shown that it takes weeks for the government to notice new mutants, and even longer to assess whether they are of concern. By the time new variants are discovered and evaluated, restrictions are too late to make a difference.

The Omicron variant was first detected on November 8, 2021, but was identified by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a variant of concern only on November 26.

“Therefore, for a month before being identified as a concern, Omicron was sown in the UK, despite being internationally distributed and having a travel testing system in place,” the report said. I am saying.

To limit the epidemic of Omicron, the British government put six African countries on the “Red List” of travel on November 26, requiring a series of travel restrictions, including a PCR test from the next day to the second day. Was introduced quickly. Beginning December 7, pre-departure testing is also required to enter the UK.

Despite the measures, by December 15th, Omicron was already very popular in the UK. Acknowledging this fact, the UK Government has removed all countries from the Red List. The requirement for pre-departure testing and self-quarantine until a negative test on arrival was also abolished on January 7.

However, if you arrive in the UK, you must complete the immunoflow test by the end of the second day. If positive, additional PCR tests should be performed.

The travel industry groups Airlines UK and Manchester Airports Group (MAG), which commissioned the study, argue that the remaining restrictions should also be lifted.

Tim Alderslaid, CEO of the British airline, said:

“Not only are they unable to curb the international spread of variants, but they also put a disproportionate burden on the travel sector and those that rely on the connectivity provided by aviation.”

According to an analysis conducted by Oxera in December 2021, Omicron’s travel ban could result in a loss of £ 1.5 billion ($ 2 billion) in tax revenue next year.

Charlie Cornish, CEO of MAG, also urged the government to lift restrictions on overseas travel.

“We allow the country’s worst-hit sector to resume its path to recovery and allow the UK economy to benefit from billions of pounds of economically valuable aviation. Must be, “he said.

Alexander Chan