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Sunday, April 18, 2021

All foreign arrivals to UK should be quarantined in hotels, says Labour MP 

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A fresh row over virus border controls erupted last night as Labour called for watertight quarantine measures.

Nick Thomas-Symonds, the shadow home secretary, said the move was necessary after the South African coronavirus variant was detected in eight areas of England.

Describing the development as ‘deeply worrying’, he said: ‘It shows the UK Government’s quarantine system is not working with the country being exposed to dangerous strains of the virus and new cases now appearing.’

Nick Thomas-Symonds, the shadow home secretary, (pictured) said the move was necessary after the South African coronavirus variant was detected in eight areas of England

Nick Thomas-Symonds, the shadow home secretary, (pictured) said the move was necessary after the South African coronavirus variant was detected in eight areas of England

The idea to quarantine all arrivals in hotels was being considered in the Commons last night. 

A vote during the Opposition day debate will not be binding on the Government and Tory MPs have reportedly been told to abstain by their whips.

Ministers announced compulsory quarantine for arrivals from 30 countries last month, mainly in South American and southern Africa. It is due to come into force next week. 

But the Government has stopped short of requiring all arrivals to pay for ten days of self-isolation.

It is understood that Home Secretary Priti Patel had pushed for quarantine for all, but was overruled by Boris Johnson.

Mr Thomas-Symonds welcomed yesterday’s decision to carry out enhanced testing for the South African variant but said: ‘How can the Home Secretary justify keeping our borders open to Covid, allowing around 21,000 people to arrive every day?

It is understood that Home Secretary Priti Patel (pictured) had pushed for quarantine for all, but was overruled by Boris Johnson

It is understood that Home Secretary Priti Patel (pictured) had pushed for quarantine for all, but was overruled by Boris Johnson

‘Conservative MPs must vote with Labour to secure our borders against Covid and help to prevent progress on the vaccine being undermined. 

The Government must also ensure that adequate support is put in place for those required to self-isolate.’

A Conservative Party spokesman said: ‘Throughout the pandemic we have taken firm action to protect our border and save lives.

‘Everyone arriving in the UK is required to isolate, but as we face a threat from new strains of the virus, it is right that we have taken more action… to protect our NHS and roll-out of the vaccine programme.

‘Labour’s plan to put around 20,000 people a day in hotels is implausible. That’s why our new measures are designed to reduce flow across the border.’

This post was first published on DailyMail.

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