Government fails to adopt Sage’s recommendation of ‘valid’ pre-departure travel tests

UK Scientific Advisory Group, Sage, mark the value of departure first Covid test in a meeting on Monday, in a series of Recommendations was not accepted by government.

Within minutes of the meeting seen by BBC, the group – which includes the nation’s epidemiologists, statisticians, doctors and scientific advisers – said requiring pre-departure testing from people arriving in the UK would be “valid” in current phase of the pandemic.

At the same meeting, Sage advised that current “day two” tests of vaccinated people would “identify significantly fewer cases” than further testing on day five or day eight.

Labor MPs including Yvette Cooper have also calls for reintroduction of pre-departure swabs or “testing to fly”, was phased out in October for fully vaccinated arrivals, to identify incoming Covid infections at an earlier stage.

The Welsh and Scottish leaders also calls on the government to increase the number of tests required for travel to help track the new omicron variant, with an “eighth day” test added for all travelers.

In a joint letter to Boris Johnson earlier this week, Scotland’s first minister Sturgeon Nicola and Welsh partner Mark Drakeford asked to “tighten” travel rules to ensure all people arriving in the UK self-isolate for eight days, taking a test at the end of that period.

“It would make sense… if these travel rules were tightened further,” Ms. Sturgeon said.

The First Minister said the proposed changes would be “more effective” in identifying omicron cases, adding: “Anything less than a four-country approach won’t work – us hopefully a four-country approach can be unified.”

The discovery of the omicron variant in the UK last week prompted ministers UK’s travel rules tightened on Tuesday – recovery PCR test as a mandatory style of post-arrival travel testing and requires fully vaccinated travelers to self-isolate until they receive their test results.

However, they have stopped re-applying pre-departure tests or more post-arrival tests for travelers who engage in collision behaviour.

During Monday’s meeting, Sage advisers warned that the omicron variation could cause the biggest wave Covid the case is not in UK if allowed to spread unchecked.

“It is important to prepare for a potentially very large wave of infections with associated hospitalizations now, before data is available,” the group warned ministers and recommended a ” very strict response.” Government fails to adopt Sage’s recommendation of ‘valid’ pre-departure travel tests


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