Travel Bans Don’t Stop the Spread of COVID, UK Vaccine Chief Claims

HONG KONG, CHINA - DECEMBER 30: Travellers wait in line to check in at the departure hall
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The head of the UK’s vaccination regime has claimed that travel bans do not do much to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Sir Andrew Pollard, chairman of the UK joint committee on vaccination and immunisation, has claimed that using border controls to prevent the spread of the Chinese coronavirus will likely not work.

It comes amid calls for the UK to reimplement restrictions on arrivals coming from China, which is currently experiencing a significant increase in infection numbers since relaxing its zero COVID strategy.

Speaking in regards to those advocating for putting measures in place to stop cases from coming into Britain, The Times reports Pollard as belittling claims that such moves would make Britain any safer.

“Trying to ban a virus by adjusting what we do with travel has already been shown not to work very well,” the UK official remarked. “We have seen that with the bans on travel from various countries during the pandemic.”

“The likelihood of variants emerging there is the same as it is in other places where there are Covid waves,” he went on to remark about the spread of COVID in China. “And the variants that emerge in China are ones that are going to be best adapted to spread in a Chinese population, which compared with countries like the UK is much less Covid-experienced.”

Pollard’s dismissal of border measures comes as other European countries, such as Spain and Italy, reimpose certain restrictions on arrivals from Communist China in the hopes of curbing the spread of the disease.

In Italy, for example, all travellers from the eastern nation will be subjected to mandatory COVID-19 testing, which has been described by politicians within the country as being “essential to ensure surveillance and detection of any variants of the virus in order to protect the Italian population”.

However, the suggestion that similar moves will not be put in place in Britain appears to have upset some locals in the country, with Brexit firebrand Nigel Farage taking to Twitter to vent his frustration on Friday.

“Here we have a massive outbreak in China, we have no idea whether this is a new variant, a new problem,” he told his followers, before complaining that Britain always acts “too little too late” when it comes to measures.

“And then when they do, they lock the rest of us down,” he went on to say. “Let’s put restrictions on Chinese visitors now.”


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