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Beta prompts UK moves over France – but all variants could flourish after Monday

Analysis: making fully vaccinated travellers returning from places with lower infection rates quarantine, while the virus runs wild here, is difficult to comprehend

Boris Johnson’s pendulum swing from “freedom day” to unlocking with “extreme caution” relayed a shift in the government’s thinking – that the relaxation of almost all restrictions at this stage comes with significant risk. The move to make fully vaccinated people returning from France continue to quarantine – because of the risk of the Beta variant – appears to be another sign of panic setting in.

Delta, the dominant variant in the UK, is far more transmissible than the Beta variant, which was first identified in South Africa. But the danger of Beta has long been its ability to thwart any vaccine shield, particularly the AstraZeneca jab. Beta actually preceded Delta – it was first recorded in the UK in December but never quite took off. In South Africa, it has dominated. It also accounts for about one in 10 new infections in France, but that data includes the French territories of Réunion and Mayotte, where the variant is almost dominant.

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Read the original article at The Guardian

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