The UK prime minister, Boris Johnson, gave a speech on Sunday night about relaxation of Covid-19 measures in the country, and I decided to tune in to see what he has to say about the quarantining all incoming passengers.
The plan is to quarantine both citizens and non-residents for 14 days upon their arrival. The passenger would give their quarantine address at the time of immigration and then head there by public or private transportation.
So, the prime minister did mention the arrival quarantine but gave no timeline. I would assume that this would start on June 1st when some schools are set to reopen. The next step on July 1st would be to open up the hospitality sector partially.
The arrival quarantine only works if it is done similarly as in Singapore of Hong Kong:
1. Incoming passengers are bused to government-designated quarantine hotels
2. You are not allowed to leave your room beyond, perhaps going to east or food is provided through room service.
3. You are required to wear a tracking device to confirm your location.
4. You will be called several times a day to check where and how you are.
Doing the arrivals quarantine in any other way is purely smokes and mirrors. You would be using a tube or buses? How is someone ensuring that you are quarantining yourself?
And France would be excluded (perhaps other countries too?) per BBC (read their piece):
Passengers arriving from France will be exempt from forthcoming UK coronavirus quarantine measures.
Boris Johnson said on Sunday the rules would be imposed on people coming into the UK, to prevent Covid-19 being brought in from overseas.
However, the measures will apply to UK holidaymakers returning from other destinations.
Travel industry analysts said that meant a one-week or two-week holiday abroad would be followed by another two weeks in self-isolation.
It is difficult to see how you can effectively close a border without completely decimating the hospitality sector, including hotels and airlines? Nobody could go on a holiday if they need to forgo their work for 14 days after arriving back home. UK airlines are not pleased.
It seems that some politicians, not pointing out my finger at anyone, are merely pandering to the general public rather than making decisions based on science and reality.
Even Singapore and South Korea, who were good at containing the Covid-19 at first, have had new spikes, and surely will Hong Kong too once they open up the land border with Macau and China.
Is there any other way out from this Covid-19 pandemic than the much-hated herd immunity either by a vaccine or letting it go through the population (hopefully healthy), or combination of these two (that is the reality anyway)?
You can suppress the community spread temporarily by forcing everyone to stay inside and ending most economic activity. Once you relax rules and people start mingling again, the virus will inevitably flare-up. It would unrealistic to expect everyone to stay put for 12 to 18 months while waiting for a possible vaccine if there even can be one for Covid-19 (likely but not guaranteed).
There are only bad options to choose from with this coronavirus pandemic, and you just need to pick up the least worse. I am glad that I don’t have to make the decisions. Like I have said previously, I wish it would be 2021 already.