Coronavirus latest news: Grant Shapps announces end of traffic light system in update to UK travel rules – latest reaction

In response to the Government’s plans to drop PCR testing in favour of lateral flow tests, the immunologist and founding scientist at Cignpost ExpressTest, warned that the move puts Britain “at risk of new Covid variants”.

Denis Kinane said that he “welcomes” plans to simplify the travel restrictions, particularly the Government’s system of traffic light destinations.

However, he warned that the decision to drop “gold-standard PCR tests” in favour of lateral flow tests “will be a calculated risk that could put Britain at risk of new Covid variants entering the country.”

He added: “Currently, Cignpost’s own data shows 4 in every 1,000 people are testing positive after they arrive in the UK, and every one of them had already supposedly recorded a negative lateral flow test while abroad.

“That is the equivalent of 400 people entering the UK with Covid every single day.

“Without PCR testing, we are in danger of reducing our ability to sequence positive tests for variants of concern, making us blind to new threats or changes in the virus.”

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