New Brazilian strain of coronavirus prompts review of isolation rules

According to Dr Muscat there are currently no indications that the variant is on the island. Credit: PA

People will be banned from travelling into the UK from Portugal, South America, Panama and Cape Verde from 4 o clock on Friday morning.The UK's Transport Secretary has announced the decision over concerns about the Brazilian coronavirus variant.

Travel into the Channel Islands from those four places has not been banned but people are still subject to either 10 days self-isolation in Jersey or 14 in Guernsey.

However Jersey's Deputy Medical Officer of Health says more may need to be done.

A travel ban from Brazil to the UK will protect Jersey significantly. We need to consider extending the red arrival status appropriately. Evidence so far suggests that the variant could be more transmissible. As always, work is ongoing to ensure testing and vaccines remain efficient.

Dr Ivan Muscat, Deputy Medical Officer of Health

Dr Muscat says that virus mutations and variants will always arise and are neither extraordinary or unexpected.

He explained that currently random samples from the community are being sent for sequencing, as well as samples from passengers arriving in Jersey depending on their travel history.

According to Dr Muscat there are currently no indications that any new variant is in the island.