British politician and leader of the Brexit Party Nigel Farage has made an appearance at Donald Trump's Saturday election rally in Tulsa – the US President’s first since the COVID-19 pandemic started sweeping the country.
As the Brexiteer set out to offer his public support to the current president in his re-election bid, Farage documented his trip to the US over the weekend.
Farage, 56, posted a photograph of himself on Saturday with sunglasses, wearing his trademark pinstripe suit, giving the thumbs up, with a caption that read:
“In the USA, only twenty four hours from Tulsa”.
In the USA, only twenty four hours from Tulsa. pic.twitter.com/9fQipWYr3a— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) June 20, 2020
Subsequently, images emerged showing Farage in a tent backstage at the Trump campaign rally, preparing for a series of panel discussions for the crowd outside, reported the Daily Mail.
The images set off a spate of speculations as to how the politician was able to enter the US despite a ban on individuals travelling from the UK under the presidential proclamation to try to stop the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
Some suggested there was a one-off waiver for Farage issued directly by the Oval Office.
However, the US Department for Homeland Security was quoted by The Independent as saying in a statement that on 19 June Nigel Farage was denied the ability to board while attempting to fly from the UK to the US.
However, the statement adds:
“After conducting a thorough review of the relevant facts and circumstances, DHS determined Mr Farage’s travel to be permissible under section 2 (a)(xi) of the presidential proclamation: any alien whose entry would be in the national interest, as determined by the secretary of state, the secretary of homeland security, or their designees, authorising Mr. Farage to board his flight”.
There has not yet been an official statement from Nigel Farage.
Since 16 March, the US Customs and Border Protection agency has banned access to the country for “most individuals, other than United States citizens and lawful permanent residents, who have been physically present within the United Kingdom, excluding overseas territories outside of Europe, or the Republic of Ireland within 14 days of travel to the United States.”
Similarly in March, the UK Foreign Office put in place travel advice for its nationals against all but essential travel.
Under Britain’s current quarantine policy, any person arriving in the country is required to self-isolate for a 14-day period in an effort to slow the transmission rate of COVID-19 and help prevent a second wave of the virus from being imported from abroad.
The government insists the measures, backed by science, are needed as countries start easing restrictions and lifting lockdowns.
“Suddenly, the UK’s quarantine policy makes some sense,” tweeted former cabinet minister David Gauke.
Netizens also weighed in on the news of the British politician swerving the travel ban.
Stay there. We don't want you back. pic.twitter.com/LhChUvyzn6— Linda Christie 🇪🇺 ❄ #BLM #70isthenew50 (@Gingernut_49) June 20, 2020
Is your trip essential? Can you confirm you’ll quarantine when you return? pic.twitter.com/ykqowjDqia— Larry the Cat (@Number10cat) June 20, 2020
Given the US President specifically banned travel from the UK would you describe your visit as an invasion?https://t.co/DQbLMrzUVX— Larry the Cat (@Number10cat) June 20, 2020
Meet Nigel. Nigel thinks the rules don't apply to him. Nigel thinks it's fine to travel unnecessarily whilst other people around him respect lockdown rules. Nigel could be a super-spreader. Nigel doesn't care about staying at home to save lives. Don't be like Nigel. pic.twitter.com/nAtA5M0N2o— Slough for Europe 🇪🇺🎪 (@SloughForEU) June 20, 2020
Hang on, UK just appeared today as one of a list of countries’ citizens not allowed entry to US.......how did he get in??? Just asking for a friend 😉— Humpty Dumpty was pushed, I know these things😉 (@Lynbodegas) June 20, 2020