UK News 'We will all suffer if we get this wrong' - ministers defend quarantine

06:50  03 june  2020
06:50  03 june  2020 Source:   news.sky.com

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said he believes the UK can "turn the tide" against the outbreak within the next 12 weeks and the country can "send But even if the number of cases starts to fall in the next three months, then we will still be far from the end. It can take a long time for the tide to go

As the novel coronavirus spreads around the world, claiming more lives, governments across the globe are taking tougher measures to contain this crisis.

(Video by Press Association)

The quarantine plan for people arriving in the UK is vital to prevent a second coronavirus peak, the home secretary has insisted as she prepares to face her critics in the Commons.

Ahead of a statement to MPs on the controversial policy, Priti Patel said "we will all suffer if we get this wrong" adding that tourism will recover faster if COVID-19 is kept in retreat.

Ms Patel has defended her plan in a Daily Telegraph article co-written with the Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, amid claims the government is planning a retreat in the face of a growing Tory rebellion.

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But at the same time, the ministers said they would review the quarantine policy - due to begin on Monday - "when safe to do so", and suggested they may agree to "air bridges" between Britain and low-risk countries.

a person standing in front of a sign: Travellers will be asked to fill in a form on arrival © Getty Travellers will be asked to fill in a form on arrival

In a bid to reassure Tory MPs who are opposed to the quarantine plan, Ms Patel and Mr Shapps confirmed the government is working with the transport industry on agreements with other countries.

Defending the policy, the ministers wrote: "Self-isolation for those arriving is designed to prevent new cases being brought in from abroad and to prevent a second wave of the virus.

"Right now, airport COVID-19 tests or rapid temperature tests simply aren't as effective. Infected passengers might not have any symptoms, and tests might not work as well if you've only just caught the virus.

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Ministers are facing a growing revolt on 14-day quarantine plans amid warnings it will 'kill' the travel We will set out further detail shortly including on how we will take action against those who flout the ' Get on the wrong side of him and he'll kill you': Megan Barton-Hanson's married lover's friends given

"Which is why it is right that we ask those who are travelling to our country to follow the measures that our own citizens are undertaking to continue to stop the spread of the virus.

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"As we continue to follow the rules designed to protect our families, friends and loved ones, so should visitors to our country.

"And by stopping people coming in from spreading the virus further, we can control it and get back to normal sooner - meaning the tourism industry will be up and running faster."

In a message to critics, the ministers added: "We know that this will mean that challenges continue in the coming weeks, but that's why we have an unprecedented package of support - the most comprehensive in the world - both for employees and businesses.

"But we will all suffer if we get this wrong and that is why it is crucial that we introduce these measures now. Let's not throw away our progress in tackling this deadly virus. We owe it to the thousands who have died."

Priti Patel smiling for the camera: Priti Patel insists the measures will prevent a second wave of the virus © PA Priti Patel insists the measures will prevent a second wave of the virus

Hinting at a possible climb-down later this month, they said: "As with all COVID-19 policies, the government will review these and other measures, looking at global infection rates, the measures in place around the world, and the latest scientific advances.

"We are working with the transport industry to see how we can introduce agreements with other countries when safe to do so, so we can go abroad and tourists can come here.

"But as the prime minister has outlined, we must take it one step at a time. We must keep the country safe from potentially infected passengers unknowingly spreading the virus to others in society and ensure that the public's health always comes first."

The ministers confirm that from Monday, people arriving to the UK will need to self-isolate for 14 days. Travel details and passenger contact information will need to be provided. There will be spot checks and fines.


Stay at home as much as possible to stop coronavirus spreading - here is the latest government guidance. If you think you have the virus, don't go to the GP or hospital, stay indoors and get advice online. Only call NHS 111 if you cannot cope with your symptoms at home; your condition gets worse; or your symptoms do not get better after seven days. In parts of Wales where 111 isn't available, call NHS Direct on 0845 46 47. In Scotland, anyone with symptoms is advised to self-isolate for seven days. In Northern Ireland, call your GP.

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Airlines launch legal action against ‘flawed’ quarantine policy .
British Airways, easyJet and Ryanair have asked for a judicial review to be heard ‘as soon as possible’.The airlines announced they have asked for a judicial review to be heard “as soon as possible”, claiming the measures introduced this week will have a “devastating effect on British tourism and the wider economy”.

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