Boris Johnson warns of signs of second Covid-19 wave in Europe

28 July 2020, 11:53

Boris Johnson said the priority must be people's health in determining when local lockdowns are lifted
Boris Johnson said the priority must be people's health in determining when local lockdowns are lifted. Picture: PA
EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

Boris Johnson has warned there were signs of a second wave of coronavirus in Europe and that the UK has to be "vigilant" regarding the threat of a second wave of Covid-19.

The Prime Minister was speaking during a visit to Nottingham where he defended the Government's decision to impose quarantine restrictions on Spain.

"What we have to do is take swift and decisive action where we think that the risks are starting to bubble up again," he said.

"Let's be absolutely clear about what's happening in Europe, amongst some of our European friends, I'm afraid you are starting to see in some places the signs of a second wave of the pandemic."

The Prime Minister said the UK has to be "vigilant" regarding the threat of a second wave of Covid-19.
Read more: Quarantine could be cut to 10 days for holidaymakers returning to UK from Spain

Mr Johnson said: "Where you can do local easing, then of course you should, but we'll see what the review says.

"I have every sympathy with the views of the (mayor of Leicester Peter Soulsby) and local MPs, but we have to prioritise public health and apply simple common sense, and I think people also understand that.

"We'll do everything we can in these tough times for businesses, for families, for people whose mental health has been affected by the lockdown, to give them the support that they need."

He added: "The most important thing is for everybody in all communities to heed the advice, to follow the advice, not to be spreading it accidentally and get it right down, and we'll be able to ease the restrictions across the country.

"But clearly we now face, I'm afraid, the threat of a second wave in other parts of Europe and we just have to be vigilant and we have to be very mindful."

The PM told reporters it was up to individuals to decide whether they wanted to take the risk of going abroad in the present circumstances.

"These are decisions for families, for individuals, about where they want to go," he said.

Mr Johnson said the quarantine measures were aimed at stopping cases being brought in to the UK.

"It's vital that when people are coming back from abroad if they are coming back from a place where I'm afraid there is another outbreak, they must go into quarantine.

"That's why we have taken the action that we have and we will continue, throughout the summer, to take such action where it is necessary."

Asked about reports the 14-day quarantine period could be reduced, Boris Johnson said: "We are always looking at ways in which we can mitigate the impact of the quarantine, try to help people, try to make sure that the science is working to help travellers and holidaymakers.

"At the moment you have got to stick with the guidance that we are giving, we have given the guidance now about Spain and about some other places around the world.

"I'm afraid if we do see signs of a second wave in other countries it is really our job, our duty, to act swiftly and decisively to stop ... travellers coming back from those places seeding the disease here in the UK."

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