The lack of quarantining travellers arriving in the UK was a disgrace and one that has caused the virus that initially arrived into the UK to continue to increase the rising figures for covid infections – why has the UK government only just enforced travellers to quarantine and to have negative tests before they board a plane ?
I have friends who left the UK to live in New Zealand in November (she is from NZ) and they were met at the airport in Auckland by the army who escorted them to a coach and they were then driven directly to a hotel and quarantined for 14 days in their hotel room with 3 meals a day being delivered to their door. They did have a small outdoor space and could use the hotel grounds once a day for exercise. It wasn’t an enjoyable experience and if they weren’t forced to do this I doubt that they would have done it. But it works for New Zealand which is Covid free.
The UK government’s advice was :-
1. To complete a ‘passenger locator form’ before they leave for the UK.
2. Provide details of a test provider if you wish to leave self isolation early.
3. Self isolate in the place that you are staying for the first 10 days after you arrive
unless you’ve visited an exempt country.
4. You can be fined up to £10k for not complying.
I haven’t carried out surveys of travellers arriving in the UK and the likely compliance with these requirements, but given my friends experience of NZ quarantine I cannot imagine that this voluntary ‘self isolation’ has worked. Indeed it has been reported that the National Police Chief’s Council(NPCC) have said that ‘there is no “foolproof system” to stop people flouting the rules and that stretched forces would not get into a “manhunt scenario” to find people who are not following the rules.’ NPCC figures showed hundreds of travellers suspected of breaking quarantine rules across England had not been traced.
Yet again the UK government has not been proactive in taking action to keep us safe and reduce the spread of the virus which has harmed local businesses and caused loss of our freedoms for the UK and the people of Battersea and Wandsworth.
Michael Radcliffe – Liberal Democrat member