Africa: Quarantine

(asked on 2nd November 2020) - View Source

Question to the Department for Transport:

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they undertake country-specific risk assessments for countries in Africa before deciding whether visitors to the UK from those countries have to self-isolate due to COVID-19.

Answered by
Baroness Vere of Norbiton Portrait
Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
This question was answered on 16th November 2020

Decisions on International Travel Corridors, and therefore whether visitors to the UK from specific countries have to self-isolate, are currently informed by risk assessments provided by the Joint Biosecurity Centre (JBC), working closely with Public Health England (PHE), using methodology endorsed by the four Chief Medical Officers (CMO) of the UK.

JBC and PHE monitor over 250 countries, territories and islands to inform these risk assessments. This includes African nations. Factors taken into consideration include:

  • An estimate of the proportion of the population that is currently infected (this is known as ‘point prevalence’);
  • Weekly case incidence rate taking into account population size of the country, territory or island;
  • Trends in incidence, deaths, hospitalisations and intensive care admissions;
  • Information on laboratory capacity, testing and contact tracing strategies, and test positivity rates;
  • COVID-19 cases detected in the UK following travel to the country, territory or island (‘imported infections’);
  • Qualitative information related to the reliability of reported data and the maturity of public health systems;
  • Public health measures in place and the enforcement of, and adherence to, those measures.
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