Search

Norfolk MP defends government’s 14-day quarantine policy for UK arrivals

PUBLISHED: 12:25 04 June 2020 | UPDATED: 12:42 04 June 2020

Brandon Lewis. Photo: Bill Smith

Brandon Lewis. Photo: Bill Smith

Archant © 2014

A Norfolk MP has defended the government’s decision to bring in a 14-day quarantine rule for arrivals into the UK, despite warnings it could cripple the aviation industry.

Brandon Lewis, MP for Great Yarmouth, said now was the Brandon Lewis, MP for Great Yarmouth, said now was the "right time" to bring in quarantine measures for UK arrivals. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Speaking on BBC Breakfast on Thursday, Northern Ireland secretary and MP for Great Yarmouth, Brandon Lewis, said that now was “the right time” to introduce the measures.

From June 8, all arrivals into the UK must quarantine for two weeks or face a fine of up to £1,000. This applies to anyone coming from abroad, regardless of whether they are showing symptoms.

Arrivals will be asked to give their address and phone number and their whereabouts will be monitored.

In response to accusations that this was the wrong time to be imposing the quarantine, Mr Lewis said: “When you have higher community transmission rates, like we did in March, the difference of someone coming into the country with the virus is marginal.

Aircraft in storage at Norwich Airport as airports around the UK are closed in the lockdown due to the coronavirus outbreak. Picture: Denise BradleyAircraft in storage at Norwich Airport as airports around the UK are closed in the lockdown due to the coronavirus outbreak. Picture: Denise Bradley

“But as community transmission rates get lower, someone coming into the country with the virus will have a much bigger impact.”

You may also want to watch:

He added: “Doing this in March or late February wouldn’t have made sense given rates were so high. And though it seems like a long time ago, at the beginning of this we were taking action at the airports - we even had specific NHS facilities in place for people when they first returned to the UK.

“We will be reviewing the situation every three weeks.”

Concerns about the rules have also been raised by the aviation industry, with calls for a lockdown lift on flying by the end of June or the prospect of economic ruin.

A spokeswoman for Norwich Airport previously said: “We echo the Airport Operators Association’s (AOA) disappointment that the government has decided to go ahead with a simplistic, blanket approach to quarantining all arrivals, without any consultation with industry.

“As per the AOA’s response on behalf of the aviation industry, we believe the UK should move towards a science-led, risk-based approach as soon as possible, or risk being left behind.”

Sir Patrick Vallance, the UK’s chief scientific adviser, said at Wednesday’s daily briefing that the measures are most effective “when the number of cases is low, and when applied to countries from higher rates”.


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Great Yarmouth Mercury. Click the link in the orange box below for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years, through good times and bad, serving as your advocate and trusted source of local information. Our industry is facing testing times, which is why I’m asking for your support. Every single contribution will help us continue to produce award-winning local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Thank you.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Great Yarmouth Mercury