Good morning. Ministers have been under pressure to toughen up border controls, particularly in the light of concerns about the South African variant of coronavirus, and today Matt Hancock, the health secretary, is expected to make a statement to MPs saying passengers arriving in the UK will have to get tested while they are self-isolating.
The government already requires people coming to the UK to have a negative Covid test 72 hours before they start their journey. The new tests – which are expected to be required on day two and day eight of isolation period on arrival – will be an extra requirement, not an alternative one.
And they will apply to all arrivals, not just people having to quarantine in hotels because they are coming from high-risk countries under the new arrangements coming into force next week.
George Eustice, the environment secretary, confirmed that new testing requirements were being introduced for arrivals in his morning interviews, although he declined to give details, saying it was for Hancock to set these out later. But Eustice told the Today programme:
Introducing testing during that quarantine period is an additional way of keeping track of where people are, and monitoring the development of the virus, for those who have it, as they arrive.
Here is the agenda for the day.
9.30am: Boris Johnson chairs a virtual meeting of cabinet.
9.30am: The ONS publishes its weekly death figures for England and Wales.
12pm: Downing Street is expected to hold its daily lobby briefing.
12.30pm: Matt Hancock, the health secretary, makes a statement to MPs about Covid and the plans for hotel quarantine.
12pm: The Department for Education releases its latest school attendance figures.
After 2pm: The Scottish parliament hears a ministerial statement on Covid.
Afternoon: MPs debate a Lords amendment to the trade bill giving the high court the power to decide if a country is committing genocide.
4.30pm: Michael Gove, the Cabinet Office minister, and Lord Frost, who was the government’s Brexit negotiator, give evidence to the Lords EU committee.
Politics Live is now doubling up as the UK coronavirus live blog and, given the way the Covid crisis eclipses everything, this will continue for the foreseeable future. But we will be covering non-Covid political stories too, and when they seem more important or more interesting, they will take precedence.
Here is our global coronavirus live blog.
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