BRITAIN will be plunged back into “another full lockdown” if a vaccine-busting variant arrives from abroad, a Cabinet minister warned today.
Environment secretary George Eustice said draconian restrictions will have to be reimposed to combat a dangerous new strain the gets around the jab.
He made the remarks with ministers today set to ease travel restrictions and ditch the need for gold-standard PCR tests when returning to the UK.
Vaccinated travellers will be able to take a much cheaper lateral flow swab, which picks up Covid but can’t be used to detect variants.
They will also no longer have to show a negative result to enter the country.
Mr Eustice said ministers will meet later today to take a decision on changes to the travel rules.
But he defended the strict regime up until now insisting it has “given us extra protection against potential variants of concern”.
He added: “It’s been a very, very difficult time for the travel industry, we absolutely recognise that.
“That’s why we’ve done all we can to have those easements in place, reduce the restrictions as quickly as we can.
“Arguably the biggest threat to the travel industry is that we do get another variant the vaccine can’t deal with, then we’re into another full lockdown.
“That’s not what we want. That’s why we’ve taken this cautiously step by step, because we want each step we take to be irreversible.”