Home Secretary Priti Patel is in the middle of a new row after saying the UK’s borders should have closed sooner – she was an advocate of the closure at the start of the Covid pandemic last March / p>

In comments that appeared to conflict her with Downing Street, which only announced a tightening of borders last week, Patel said she was in favor of restricting travel 10 months ago

The remarks put Boris Johnson under pressure on questions from the Prime Minister Keir Starmer, the Labor leader, asked why he had not heeded Patel’s advice at this point

Last week Johnson announced the suspension of travel corridors to “protect against the risk of as yet unidentified new strains” Anyone flying to the UK must provide evidence of a negative Covid test prior to departure. International arrivals must be quarantined for 10 days unless they test negative after five days

In comments that were first posted on the Guido Fawkes website and posted the day after the new policy went into effect, Patel said she was in favor of tightening borders at the start of the pandemic, according to reports, Patel told the group Conservative friends of India during a Zoom call on Tuesday, “Should we close our borders sooner?” the answer is, yes, I was an advocate of closing last March ”

Last July, a month after the government introduced quarantine restrictions on international arrivals, travel corridors were introduced allowing arrivals from certain destinations with low Covid-19 rates to avoid quarantine in recent months Corridors changed frequently and countries were removed from the list due to fluctuating infection rates

At PMQs, Starmer said the government does not deny Patel’s version of events, asking, “Why did the Prime Minister override the Home Secretary?”

Johnson ignored the question, simply saying that Britain had “introduced one of the toughest border regimes in the world” The Prime Minister added: “I am very pleased that he is now praising the Home Secretary”

Last March, the Daily Telegraph reported that Patel and Johnson were involved in a series over the border closings The Prime Minister reportedly refused a request from the Home Secretary to suspend flights to the UK

In response to Patel’s recent comments, Shadow Home Secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds replied, “This is a shocking admission by the Home Secretary about the government’s failure to secure UK borders against Covid

“The inclusion of Priti Patel, coupled with the total lack of a strategy to test travelers, means the government has left our doors open to the virus and worrying mutations. Ministers now need to urgently review and revise border policy while at the same time Taking responsibility for the enormous damage their incompetence has done to our national security ”

A Home Office spokesman said, “We have taken tough measures at the border that are critical to getting the vaccine in place”

In a damn report last year, MPs concluded that the government’s failure to take special border measures in advance of the first Covid lockdown was “a grave mistake” that has changed the pace and extent of Epidemic increased significantly

From late January to mid-March 2020, the UK put a number of travel measures in place, including quarantining 273 people, mostly from Wuhan, as well as issuing non-mandatory guidelines on self-isolation for 14 days to travelers coming from a certain high – Risk countries The list of locations, which has been gradually expanded, included China, Iran and Italy until mid-March March withdrawn without giving a reason, and until 8 June saw no border measures for almost three months This is evident from the report released by the Commons Internal Affairs Committee in August

In the ten days between the withdrawal of the guidelines and the introduction of the lockdown on Jan. In March, the report said evidence suggests that thousands of new infections were brought in from Europe. “It is very likely that this contributed to the rapid spread of the virus in mid-March and the overall scale of the outbreak in the UK,” they concluded

Responding to Patel’s recent comments, Labor MP Yvette Cooper, chair of the home affairs committee who prepared the report, replied: “I have raised the issue of the UK’s weak border measures with the Home Secretary and the government on several occasions since last time March and so far have all defended the decisions made at the beginning of the pandemic not to take stricter border and quarantine measures ”

Priti Patel

World News – UK – Priti Patel wants UK borders closed in March last year

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2021/jan/20/priti-patel-says-she-wanted-uk-borders-shut-last-march-over-covid