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Johnson rules out stricter border controls to stem Covid-19 pandemic

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Although travel to and from the UK has drastically reduced it has never completely stopped at any point during the pandemic

Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has refused to completely close the UK’s borders on the grounds that it is “not practical”.

Johnson was fending off questions from opposition Labor Party leader, Keir Starmer, during Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons on Wednesday (February 03).

Challenging the PM on escalatory measures in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, Starmer asked whether “quarantining all arrivals would make no difference to fighting new variants of the virus”, or if the proposed policy was just “too difficult” to implement.

In response the PM reminded the Labor leader that 75 percent of the UK’s medicines and 45 percent of the country’s food comes from the European mainland.

In addition, according to the PM, 250,000 British businesses rely on imports.

"It is not practical to completely close off this country as he [Starmer] seems to be suggesting", Johnson quipped.

Going on the offensive, an undeterred Starmer claimed that government scientists had recommended “a complete pre-emptive closure of borders”.

But Johnson was quick to respond by stating that the government advisory group Sage (the Scientific Advisory Group on Emergencies) had not recommended a “complete ban” and furthermore they advise that “travel bans should not be relied upon to stop the importation of new variants”.

The PM went on to claim the UK has one of the “toughest regimes” in the world for combating the pandemic without offering sufficient supporting evidence.  



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