The Prime Minister has been accused of “unforgivable incompetence” as the UK now has six cases of the Brazilian mutant virus which has breached British borders.
Boris Johnson has hit back and insists that the UK has one of the “toughest border regimes anywhere in the world.”
He also said that the government “moved as fast as we could” in launching the hotel quarantine policy.
The new Brazilian variant was detected on Sunday in Scotland and England and was first found in the city of Manaus in Brazil.
So far there has been three confirmed case of Manaus in Scotland England. It is feared that the new P.1 variant could spread more rapidly and might not respond to the current vaccines being rolled out.
Labour’s shadow home secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds said, “This is unforgivable incompetence from the UK government.
“Despite being warned time and time again, they have failed to act to protect our borders against emerging Covid variants and could put at risk the gains from the vaccine.
“People will be appalled to hear someone with the Brazilian variant cannot be identified, raising questions about how many others may have been missed by quarantine measures.”
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer warned that the government has not “secured our borders in the way we should have done.”
Starmer said, “It demonstrates the slowness of the government to close off even the major routes, but also the unwillingness to confront the fact that the virus doesn’t travel by direct flights.
“We know from last summer that a lot of virus came in from countries where it didn’t originate in, but people were coming indirect, and that’s the way people travel.”
However, Johnson told reporters, “We have got one of the toughest border regimes anywhere in the world for stopping people coming in to this country who may have variants of concern.”
Johnson was asked if he was too slow to act in implementing the hotel quarantine measures.
He replied, “I don’t think so – we moved as fast as we could to get that going.
“It’s a very tough regime – you come here, you immediately get transported to a hotel where you are kept for 10 days, 11 days.
“You have to test on day two, you have to test on day eight, and it’s designed to stop the spread of new variants while we continue to roll out the vaccination programme.”