Environment secretary George Eustace has told Sky News the government has considered a full closure of the country’s borders to guard against the import of new strains of coronavirus.
Eustace said there remained a real risk of a new strain of the virus "evading" vaccines, and stressed that while he recognised the country’s tough Covid restrictions were putting people’s summer holiday plans on hold or even in jeopardy, ministers couldn’t rule out any options.
When pressed by presenter Gillian Joseph on reports government was considering a full border closure, Eustace said: "We always keep these things under review and it’s been considered.
"There is concern at the moment about the number of mutant strains there are, different strains of this coronavirus are cropping up in other countries, [and there are] concerns that there is a risk that one day there will be a strain that might be able to evade the vaccine.
"That’s why, last week, the prime minister toughened up the current restrictions, which requires a test before people travel [to the UK] and then they must quarantine while they’re here.
"There are now no exemptions from that policy. So we’ve already toughened it up and we think that’s the right approach for now but obviously, everything’s always kept under review."