UK 'outlier' for no covid border curbs, says Nicola Sturgeon adviser

UK is an ‘outlier’ for not having border controls to stop the spread of coronavirus and could impose 14-day quarantine, says expert advising Nicola Sturgeon

  • Adviser to Nicola Sturgeon says the UK is an ‘outlier’ for refusing border curbs 
  • Other countries imposed 14 day quarantine on all arrivals amid coronavirus crisis
  • Professor Devi Sridhar also warned outdoor activities were not definitely safe 
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

The UK is an ‘outlier’ for not having border controls to stop the spread of coronavirus, an expert advising Nicola Sturgeon said today.

Professor Devi Sridhar pointed out most countries had imposed rules on arrivals such as a 14-day quarantine to avoid fuelling the deadly disease.

Ministers have so far held off tough curbs on inflows into the UK, despite complaints that many people are walking straight through passport control at airports without even temperature checks.

They have claimed that such restrictions would have limited impact when the outbreak is already raging in the country, and would have merely hampered millions of Britons trying to return home from abroad.

However, other countries across Europe, as well as the US and China, have taken a different stance.   

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said at the weekend he is ‘actively looking’ at quarantining people entering the UK once the situation subsides.  

Prof Sridhar suggested that although a ‘decentralised approach’ might be better for lockdown rues, the whole UK should be taking tougher action to control its borders. 

Professor Devi Sridhar (pictured on ITV’s Good Morning Britain earlier this week) said most countries had imposed rules on arrivals such as a 14-day quarantine to avoid fuelling the deadly disease

Professor Sridhar signalled a hard line on maintaining lockdown – after Nicola Sturgeon (pictured at VE Day commemorations in Edinburgh today) warned the PM yesterday that dropping the ‘stay at home’ guidance could be a ‘catastrophe’

‘The UK is one of the very few countries in the world, it is an outlier, to actually have no checks at borders for anyone coming in,’ she told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. 

‘Most countries have 14 day quarantines and that is something that has to be agreed across the UK.’   

Professor Sridhar also signalled a hard line on maintaining lockdown – after Ms Sturgeon warned the PM yesterday that dropping the ‘stay at home’ guidance could be a ‘catastrophe’.

Dismissed the prospect even of restrictions on outdoor activities being eased, she although there was evidence transmission was much less likely outside, ‘I think we need to have actual confirmation of that through multiple studies before easing measures’.

She also gave a striking warning a bout how far the UK has to go before a significant loosening is safe. 

‘If over 10 per cent of people are testing positive you do have a major problem,’ she told the BBC.

‘You really want to be around two per cent to be on the safe side… Right now in the UK we are around 12 per cent going off yesterday’s figures.’ 

Prof Sridhar said: ‘The goal right now needs to be to ensure we use the lockdown time to get in place a package of interventions.’

She also dismissed the idea that care homes and hospitals could be isolated, as that is where the disease is spreading, while the rest of society gets up and running. 

‘It’s not that simple. As we’re seeing through the failed strategies to shield the vulnerable, you can’t isolate care homes and hospitals from the wider community,’ she said.

‘We are all integrated in the same place. What we need to have is surveillance systems in place.. we just don’t have that yet.’ 

Boris Johnson (pictured in Downing Street today) is preparing to unveil an ‘exit strategy’ from lockdown on Sunday night

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