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Matt Hancock says ‘end in sight’ for coronavirus restrictions

Boris Johnson is expected to approve plans to force some travellers arriving to the UK to quarantine in hotels to limit the spread of new coronavirus variants.

The prime minister will discuss the proposals with senior ministers on Tuesday before a final decision is made at a meeting of the Covid-O meeting.

Various options are said to be on the table, but Whitehall sources suggested ministers may opt for a more limited system after aviation leaders warned introducing tougher border rules would be “catastrophic” for the industry.

The officials said a less sweeping option would apply only to British residents returning from countries with more contagious variants – such as Brazil, South Africa and Portugal.

It comes after health secretary Matt Hancock warned the NHS is “stretched to the limit” as the number of coronavirus patients in intensive care and on ventilation has reached the highest level of the pandemic so far.

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Hotel quarantine plans set to be approved

Boris Johnson is expected to approve plans today to force some travellers arriving to the UK to quarantine in hotels to limit the spread of new coronavirus variants.

The prime minister the proposals with senior ministers today before the final decision is made at a meeting of the Covid-O committee. No 10 has so far declined to comment.

Various options are said to be on the table, but Whitehall sources suggested ministers may opt for a more limited system after aviation leaders warned introducing tougher border rules would be “catastrophic” for the industry.

The officials said a less sweeping option would apply only to British residents returning from countries with more contagious strains – such as Brazil, South Africa and Portugal.

Here’s a more detailed look at those plans from our policy correspondent Jon Stone:

Chiara Giordano26 January 2021 07:54

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Good morning and welcome to The Independent’s live coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. Stay tuned for rolling updates on the latest news and statistics.

Chiara Giordano26 January 2021 07:50

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