14:19 GMT23 September 2020
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    Lawmakers in Britain have suggested that the spread of coronavirus in the UK could have been slowed with earlier quarantine restrictions, on new arrivals entering the country. The Home Affairs committee said a lack of border measures earlier in the pandemic was a "serious mistake".

    Political Commentator Mandy Boylett believes that the UK failed to manage its borders correctly during the coronavirus pandemic.

    Sputnik: Did Britain fail to manage its borders correctly during the Coronavirus pandemic? 

    Mandy Boylett: Absolutely we did. They weren't doing any checks at the airports, they were allowing people in from Wuhan; in from Italy; in from Iran; which, as I recall, were all the areas that were worst affected. They weren't even doing temperature checks and it was absolutely appalling. The UK is an island and if they had imposed quarantine straightaway, they could have prevented us from getting Coronavirus. That's not to say that would have been a completely viable strategy because, until there's a vaccine, it would have meant that we couldn't go anywhere. But I certainly think a 14-day quarantine imposed back then right at the start would have made far more difference than the quarantines that they're imposing now.

    Sputnik: Are there any particular policies going forward regarding perhaps future border restrictions or just policies regarding our borders that you would like to see particularly as we come out of lockdown going forwards?

    Mandy Boylett: I want to see policies based on the actual data and I think if you look at Spain, yes there's certain areas where they've had increases in coronavirus, but if you look at the Balearic Islands the rates are less than they are in the UK. So why restrict travel there? I would imagine that all the highest rates of coronavirus in Spain are where there's lots of young people going, who are going to pubs and going to nightclubs, and the areas of Spain that aren't as attractive to that generation of people will naturally have lesser rates.

    I think perhaps instead of cutting off all of Spain, they could be a bit more selective about it and say, if you go to the Balearic Islands, where there aren't any nightclubs and the incidence is low; then that could continue because that would help the travel industry and it would also give people a bit of a boost as well. Whereas at the moment, it just seems it's very much a hammer to crack a walnut sort of approach. I think it needs to be more targeted.

    Sputnik: On the subject of Spain and the travel disruptions that we saw last week, can we expect to further travel disruptions between the UK and perhaps other countries? Again, what sort of policies should we be seeing from a government to get around that whilst also continuing things like travelling and aviation and tourism?

    Mandy Boylett: I think it's difficult. I mean they do need to react when they see increases in Coronavirus but it's very difficult if you're out on your holiday and then you've suddenly got to quarantine yourself for 14 days when you come back. I think if they are actually going to do that to people then there needs to be some sort of financial assistance for them because a lot of the time, the businesses won't pay and people are just without any money for two weeks and have to stay in and it's a very draconian quarantine. It's worse than the lockdown. You're not even allowed to go out and get food you have to actually stay in the house. I think they could maybe make it so you could still go out for exercise and offer financial help and the biggest way to improve it will be to test people when they come back and get the tests turned round in a fast amount of time like that I believe they've done in Germany. I think if you can test people as they come back that would be a much better way of going about things. I think it's very unfair when people have gone on holiday because they've been told it's a safe country and while they're away they have to quarantine for 14 days. I think that's a terrible situation to be put in.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

    Tags:
    border, coronavirus, UK
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