Migration Watch UK’s stance is that travel by non-UK nationals who have spent time in the worst-affected countries should be suspended. However, British nationals who wish to return here should be still be able to fly home.
We would add Spain to the list of worst-affected areas.
Research (for instance by academics at Northwestern University) has shown that restrictions on travel can slow the spread of the virus. As the study found: ‘The travel quarantine of Wuhan delayed the overall epidemic progression… [and] has a more marked effect at the international scale, where case importations were reduced by nearly 80% until mid February.‘
Below is a letter by a concerned member of the UK public to their MP:
‘I’m afraid I am completely unable to understand why the government wants to lock all the ‘internal doors’ but leave the ‘external’ ones wide open. It particularly concerns me regarding flights from China, Italy and Iran. Why is there no form of quarantine, self isolation or shielding of these people? [Correction: those coming from a range of countries are expected to self-isolate only if they develop symptoms].
‘Many Brits returning home have been quarantined and those of us over 70 are being threatened with what is tantamount to house arrest! In the last 15 years, I have travelled to quite a few countries where there has been some sort of health scare and a health check has always been in place at the port of entry – usually a temperature check at the very least. Most other countries seem very concerned with those entering through their ports – some have banned all inward travel but we seem to be oblivious to this very likely way of the virus reaching these shores uncontrolled.
The subject is rarely mentioned in the media. Do you have an explanation for the lack of concern?’