Boris Johnson has announced some minor changes to the British lockdown, but people arriving abroad are still not being quarantined and a deal with Emmanuel Macron to avoid quarantining arrivals from France, despite illegal boat migrants arriving from the country in record numbers.
The British premier, who was himself put in intensive care by the Chinese coronavirus for a brief period, announced that Britons would now be able to take an unlimited amount of daily exercise outdoors, sunbathe, and play sports — but only with members of their own household, socially distanced, and with social distancing rules still enforced and punished with even harsher fines for the “small minority” who refuse to follow them.
Johnson also announced that workers who cannot work from home may now go into work, avoiding public transport where possible, if social distance can be maintained.
How many workers this will actually effect is therefore unclear, particularly as shops and some schools will not be able to open until “step two” of his plan — “at the earliest by June the 1st” — and the hospitality industry will not be able to open again, in part, until “step three” a month later, at best, and again only if they can “enforce social distancing”.
An important update to the nation on coronavirus: https://t.co/tRvIjJLrCu
— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) May 10, 2020
On flight bans and quarantine requirements for incomers, which the British government has been almost unique in refusing to implement, even against virus hotspots such as Italy, Iran, China, and Wuhan itself, the Prime Minister continued merely to hint at a two-week self-isolation requirement for air travellers “soon” — June is reported — but with a special carve-out for France.
The deal to exempt arrivals from France, at least for a time, was announced jointly with that country’s president, Emmanuel Macron — and may raise eyebrows, considering illegal boat migrants are currently flooding into Britain from infectious camps on the French coast in record numbers.
Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage, who has been critical of the Conservative Party government’s handling of the pandemic — particularly with respect to foreign travel and illegal immigration — was decidedly unimpressed by the announcement, tweeting: “I think the big change from this much vaunted Presidential-style address is that I can sunbathe. Was that really it?”
“Never in the field of human statesmanship was so much said to such little effect,” he added later.
Never in the field of human statesmanship was so much said to such little effect.
— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) May 10, 2020
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