The local Member of Parliament for Torfaen, and the Shadow Home Secretary, Nick Thomas-Symonds, has called on the UK Government to strengthen coronavirus border protection measures announced this week.
The Torfaen MP made his demand after the Government outlined long-anticipated mandatory quarantine measures for some arrivals into the UK. The rules force travellers arriving from “red list” countries to complete a 10-day quarantine in Government-provided accommodation such as hotels.
The Rt Hon Priti Patel MP announced the measures in Parliament on Wednesday after the Shadow Home Secretary highlighted serious flaws in the UK’s quarantining system in an article published in The Times earlier this month. Nick Thomas-Symonds MP revealed that, under the current system, just 3 in every 100 people believed to be quarantining have been successfully contacted to ensure compliance.
Speaking in Parliament after her statement, Mr Thomas-Symonds MP challenged the Home Secretary to explain why the UK Government was limiting the hotel quarantining to “red list” countries rather than it being a comprehensive measure. This decision, the Shadow Home Secretary said, left “huge gaps in our defences against emerging strains” and meant the UK’s border controls continued to be “the Achilles heel of the heroic efforts of the British people during this pandemic”.
In a statement released today, Nick Thomas-Symonds MP said:
“The Conservative Government has failed to protect our borders from importations of Covid-19 and its mutations.
“The UK Government’s new policy only applies to arrivals from listed “high-risk” countries and does not go anywhere near far enough.
“The UK Government must act now to protect our borders, starting with comprehensive hotel quarantining as Labour is calling for.”
You can watch Nick’s statement in Parliament below, or read in full here: https://hansard.parliament.uk/commons/2021-01-27/debates/3227B823-BAD0-4AC5-8160-4F7ECC9F9A6D/HealthMeasuresAtUKBorders
Yet again today's border measures from the UK Government are too little, too late.— Nick Thomas-Symonds MP (@NickTorfaen) January 27, 2021
They leave gaping holes in defences against emerging #Covid strains, putting at risk progress on vaccines. @UKLabour is calling for a comprehensive hotel quarantine policy. pic.twitter.com/gT06o2yGXa