15:20 GMT18 September 2020
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    The UK Cabinet could effectively ditch its air bridge plans in favour of simply ending the quarantine for 75 countries. This comes as the police confirm they have yet to issue a fine for anyone in breach of the 14-day quarantine and former minister Theresa Villiers claimed the travel industry had been damaged without cutting the COVID-19 risk.

    Chairman of the English Democrats, Robin Tilbrook, shares his views on the effectiveness of the quarantine as well as the government's failure to contain coronavirus from hitting the UK.

    Sputnik: Do you think the UK's lockdown efforts have been a success?

    Robin Tilbrook: Well, I think a fundamental point about quarantine, right from the dawn of the idea of quarantines in the Republic of Venice during the Middle Ages; the idea was to prevent the disease from getting into the city or country in the first place. And far from doing that, Boris [Johnson] insisted on keeping free movement open despite having a row with Priti Patel over it. We were told that over 18 million people came in between the 1st of January and the 23rd of March and, obviously, many others who continued to come in. Since then, the idea that quarantine at this stage of the whole thing is actually going to make any difference whatsoever. I find it quite amazing.

    People wear protective masks as they walk at Oxford Circus, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in London, Britain, June 29, 2020.
    © REUTERS / HENRY NICHOLLS
    People wear protective masks as they walk at Oxford Circus, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in London, Britain, June 29, 2020.

    But I think the main thing is that they've been totally inconsistent haven't they? They've faffed around really between one thing and another. The first place they were saying they wanted to keep all the sort of things that globalist liberals like Boris wants to keep going like free travel and free movements around the world.

    But on the other, they then went for an over-heavy lockdown. And of course, they're now in a situation where they're releasing that but at the same time, they don't want to be left looking as if they're the ones who've made the mistakes. They don't want to be doing what the Prime Minister of Norway had to do a couple of weeks ago, which was apologise on national TV for panicking.

    Sputnik: Do you think authorities have been given enough resources to police this 14-day quarantine?

    Robin Tilbrook: I think it's worth pointing out that people who've recently travelled through British airports have not found anybody taking any records of where people are going to be or where they've come from, or testing them or anything else. I think really the policy is just waffle.

    And Boris trying to deflect our attention from other things. I don't think there's any great substance to it at all. I wouldn't be a bit surprised if the police haven't been given any resources to do anything like that. In fact, I can't see how they would actually police it if no records have been taken in the first place. And I wonder if it was even really intended for the government to actually do anything about it.

    Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson gestures after applauding on the doorstep of 10 Downing Street, during the weekly Clap for our Carers, in London, Thursday, May 28, 2020
    © AP Photo / Kirsty Wigglesworth
    Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson gestures after applauding on the doorstep of 10 Downing Street, during the weekly "Clap for our Carers", in London, Thursday, May 28, 2020

    Sputnik: Do you think the government is right to drop the proposed air bridges?

    Robin Tilbrook: I never really understood it at all. I thought it was another sort of woeful idea to deflect attention. It clearly wasn't done in full consultation originally with those countries that might be on the other side of the so-called air bridge. The air bridge to Greece seems to have evaporated entirely if that's not too much of a rich metaphor because the Greeks are now saying they don't want people to come from England to Greece because of the risk of reinfection.

    So, it doesn't seem to have been done with any sort of forethought as to which countries they were going to have the air bridges with. The very idea of an air bridge sounds more comical than realistic, doesn't it?

    Tags:
    lockdown, quarantine, Boris Johnson, European Union, coronavirus, COVID-19, United Kingdom
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