Raab Defends U.K. Ban on Denmark Travelers Over Virus Mutation

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the U.K. made the “right decision” to ban travelers from Denmark following an outbreak of a rare mutation of Covid-19 in the Nordic country’s mink farms.

“The concern is that you see a mutated version of the coronavirus and that if it spread, it would undermine our ability to make an effective vaccine,” Raab told Sky News on Sunday. “We need to look very carefully at the science,” he said, calling the U.K.’s move on Saturday “precautionary.”

Denmark said this week it found a “unique” mutation of the virus, and that health officials are coordinating their efforts to contain the outbreak with the World Health Organization, which includes culling the entire population of mink, or as many as 17 million animals.

Following the discovery, the U.K. removed Denmark from its list of countries exempt from quarantine, before moving to strengthening the measure to a ban on all visitors from Saturday. British nationals, visa holders and permanent residents who have been to Denmark in the last two weeks will have to self-isolate with their household, and further measures on freight will be announced, the Department for Transport said.

Danish health officials say they know of 12 people infected with the new strain. On Friday, local media reported that over 200 people have contracted various forms of coronavirus mutations stemming from mink, 14 of whom were outside the region in which it originated.

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