Saturday, 23 May 2020

Spotting the flaws

There is a certain logic in the government’s position, in an attempt to justify its prevarication, that quarantining people makes more sense when people travel from an area with a high incidence of infection to an area with a low incidence than the other way round. It means, of course, that it would make more sense to quarantine British people travelling to almost any other country in the world than people travelling to Britain. I can just imagine the tabloid outrage at ‘Brits’ being so 'unfairly' treated.
The UK’s proposals for ‘quarantining’ people on arrival look like too little too late – and even now it will be another two weeks before they come into effect. It is one of life’s curious anomalies that the one country which absolutely had to leave the EU in order to control its borders was the outstanding example of not bothering to do so, whilst all those countries which, according to the Brexiteers, had no control of their borders because they’re part of the EU acted swiftly to close their own. It also looks like more of a belated political reaction to the clamour for closing the borders than a response driven by concern about the spread of the virus.
But it isn’t even a proper system of quarantine. If I understand the proposal correctly (and it’s always possible that the government will issue further ‘clarification’ as they invariably do with their half-baked proposals), people (well, some of them – the list of exceptions is growing) arriving in the UK will be obliged to give border officials an address where they will solemnly promise to stay for 14 days in self-isolation. After giving the address to the officials concerned, new arrivals – who may or may not have an adequate command of English or Welsh to understand the instructions they’ve been given – will then be free to leave the airport, railway station or port and travel by car, train, bus or taxi to the duly notified destination, mixing freely with the population at large en route. They will then be trusted to stay in isolation at that destination for two weeks. This will be ‘enforced’ by random spot checks which may or may not be undertaken by understaffed services which are already struggling with their current workload. No, they don't seem to have spotted the potential flaws yet for some reason.

1 comment:

dafis said...

gesture politics is a funny old game, but rapidly becoming the only game in town for Boris and his team. When you metaphorically have 2 left feet, little or no sense of balance, no grip, and an almost empty head I guess most other games are too much like hard work !