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‘Not Necessarily Right’ to Loosen Quarantine Requirements, Political Commentator Says

© REUTERS / Kirsty WigglesworthA shopper passes a market stall along Portobello Road in London, Monday, June 1, 2020
A shopper passes a market stall along Portobello Road in London, Monday, June 1, 2020 - Sputnik International
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The British Government is reportedly looking to relax its quarantine rules for new arrivals into the UK over fears that the policy could be economically detrimental to the airline and tourism industries.

Travellers who come to Britain from outside of the so-called Common travel area, comprising the Republic of Ireland and the UK’s Crown Dependencies, are now required to self-isolate for fourteen days, in order to prevent transmission of the coronavirus.

But is Westminster’s attempt to balance the protection of public health with safeguarding the economy, simply going to lead to a second spike in the disease’s infection rate?

Political Commentator John Whitby gave his views on the matter…

Sputnik: Will loosening quarantine restrictions on foreign travellers coming to the UK caused a spike in coronavirus infections?

John Whitby: Unless there is a huge upturn in the number of people coming to the UK, which I would doubt; I can’t see that it is going to make a huge difference.

 I don’t think that it is necessarily the right thing, I think that they are being very heavily pressured by the travel industry, but if people are sensible around the world; then there is going to be very little international travel.

Sputnik: How will consumer behaviour in the UK change after the coronavirus pandemic?

John Whitby: What will probably happen; is that there will be a sudden spike with people rushing out because the shops are open, but I think that once that initial surge is over, things will drop back considerably.

I don’t think anyone really knows the long-term impact that the coronavirus pandemic will have on the high street and on the hospitality industry, and I think that we have got a very nasty shock coming economically.

Sputnik: What is your take on the controversy surrounding Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s chief political adviser Dominic Cummings?

John Whitby: I have a sneaking feeling, bearing in mind where we are; and this goes back to Brexit, at the end of this month we are supposed to either have a deal with the EU, or be walking away, and Dominic Cummings is one of the major architects of that, and one of the strongest proponents of that.

I think that people saw an opportunity to use the COVID-19 situation, and his travelling to Durham, to try and remove him from the chessboard as it were.

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