Matt Hancock slams Whitford’s ‘wrong’ travel rule claims
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Matt Hancock told the House of Commons Dr Whitford was completely wrong following her question on quarantine restrictions to the Health Secretary in Parliament. Mr Hancock also offered a private briefing with the SNP’s health spokesperson to ensure she understood the UK Government’s stance in the future.
Dr Whitford said: “Does he recognise that quarantining just 1 percent of international arrivals does not protect the UK from these variants nor from those that may evolve in the future from other parts of the world?
“Will the Government now review their hotel quarantine policy and make it fit for purpose?”
Mr Hancock replied: “The honourable lady is completely wrong and she knows it.
“There is a quarantine in place for 100 percent of arrivals as passengers in this country.
“In fact, this episode where all those that we have successfully contacted have isolated and quarantined at home as required demonstrates that policy working.
“We have further strengthened it and introduced hotel quarantine, which will no doubt give further reassurance.
“I am very happy to ensure she gets a private briefing so that she can understand the situation in the future.”
During Monday’s coronavirus press briefing, the Health Secretary was forced to address whether the UK Government had put the British public “at risk” following their delayed quarantine measures that allowed a Brazilian variant into the country.
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The BBC’s Political Editor Laura Kuenssberg quizzed Mr Hanacock on whether the UK could have implemented stricter coronavirus restrictions sooner following the news that a person that tested positive for the Brazilian variant has not been traced.
Ms Kuenssberg said: “Someone carrying the Brazilian variant was able to disappear weeks after the variant was first detected because the Government had not got round to introducing quarantine hotels.
“Do you believe that the delay will have put people at risk?”
Mr Hancock replied: “The answer is no, we had quarantine already in place.
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“In fact, we had already put in place a ban on direct travel from Brazil.
“Also, those who are not citizens or residents here could not come.
“All the evidence is that the five cases that we know about followed those quarantine rules.
“I hope that is very reassuring to people.”
He added: “There is no evidence that the sixth case did not follow those quarantine rules.”
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