Coronavirus: Why UK borders will remain open despite ongoing coronavirus crisis

Coronavirus: Why UK borders will remain open despite ongoing coronavirus crisis

Today’s coronavirus daily briefing was led by Secretary of State for Health Matt Hancock and tackled both the issues around PPE and travel. He was joined by epidemiology expert and Deputy Chief Medical Officer Professor Jonathan Stafford Nguyen Van-Tam and Chief nursing officer for England, Ruth May.

Today, Mr Hancock was asked more about why the UK is not completely closing its borders like other countries such as the US.

LBC News’ Ben Kentish asked: “Many people around the country, are asking why the UK is continuing to allow people to enter the country from virus hotspots and planes to land without the people on those planes even being tested or asked to quarantine.

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“Isn’t there a real risk that once we do pass the peak, all the efforts that we have made to reduce the number of cases will be undermined by people continuing to come into the country unchecked from other countries where the number of cases is still much higher?

“What measures will you put in place to stop that?”

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He then turned to Professor Van-Tam who discussed the reasons for not closing the borders more in-depth.

He said: “Our scientists have been very clear from the outset that that would not work as a measure to prevent the ingress of coronavirus into the UK.

“Coronavirus is now in the UK and transmitting very widely.

“I understand that point you’re making and I see where you’re coming from in terms of when we get this under control, ‘doesn’t that change the situation?’

“But we won’t go from a position of widespread community transmission amongst our own people to a position of zero transmission amongst our own people.

“Which of course was the case back in December 2019.

“We will likely go back to low levels of transmission and the virus will continue to be here and around us in our communities, I suspect for a very long time.

“Even if we can keep the levels right down.

“So from that perspective, I hope that adds a bit of sense to the context of the question on travel.”

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s latest advice for travel was updated on April 8.

They have no said that non-essential travel abroad has been prohibited “indefinitely”.

The FCO are also advising British people travelling abroad to return to the UK now, if commercial flights are still available.

The Government has provided up to £75million to help Britons to buy tickets for special charter flights to return home from priority countries.

Published at Fri, 10 Apr 2020 18:00:00 +0000