UK worried about second wave in Europe, will not hesitate to act on quarantine

UK worried about second wave in Europe, will not hesitate to act on quarantine

The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in London
File photo of people walking down a street following the coronavirus disease outbreak, in Ilford, London, Britain, Jul 29, 2020. (Photo: REUTERS/Hannah McKay)

LONDON: Britain's Health Secretary Matt Hancock said on Thursday (Jul 30) he was worried about a second wave of coronavirus infections in Europe and that the government would not hesitate to act to bring back quarantine measures if necessary to keep Britain safe.

Britain last week re-imposed a 14-day quarantine period on people arriving from Spain.

"I am worried about a second wave. I think you can see a second wave starting to roll across Europe, and we've got to do everything we can to prevent it from reaching these shores, and to tackle it," Hancock said during an interview on Sky News.

"We have significant concerns about the second wave that is coming across Europe. And it's not just Spain ... but there are other countries too where the number of cases is rising. And we are absolutely determined to do everything that we can to keep this country safe," he said.

READ: UK deals new blow to Spanish tourism, Spanish PM says London made an 'error'

Hancock said the authorities were working on possible ways to shorten the quarantine period for people coming from Spain but no change was imminent.

"We are working on whether by testing people during that quarantine it is safe to then be able to release them earlier ... But we are not imminently making an announcement on it," he said in a BBC television interview.

"That work is not concluded. Until it is absolutely safe to make that sort of change then we won't do so ... We won't be making changes on that in the next few days."

Other European countries favoured by British tourists for summer holidays, such as France, remain exempt from quarantine measures as things stand but have seen a rise in infections, leading to fears that they too would soon be subject to quarantine measures.

Hancock did not mention any other country by name apart from Spain.

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Source: Reuters/dv