Maajid Nawaz explains why now is a good time to start quarantine

9 May 2020, 14:17

By Seán Hickey

Introducing a quarantine on air passengers is a good idea now that coronavirus is coming under control in the UK.

Maajid Nawaz argues that because the spread of coronavirus in the UK is lowering, now is the ideal time to strengthen our borders. Similar to the work of countries like Hong Kong and Australia, enforcing a two week quarantine on people arriving to the UK could help keep transmission low and will reduce pressure on the NHS.

"If the quarantine was imposed last month while the pandemic was at its peak in Britain it wouldn't have done much" Maajid argued. He added that "if our virus was exponentially growing, a person's arrival wouldn't have impacted our growth" and a quarantine while the UK was having a coronavirus spike would have been pointless.

"Now we've finally got a grip on this thing, it makes sense to avoid a second wave of it to quarantine, because it was people going back to China that created a second wave" he pointed out. Maajid added that "to avoid that second wave you then try carefully to manage how you ease your lockdown and who you let into your country so you can manage the spread of the disease."

With a strategy like this, Maajid said that "instead of waves we have ripples" and we have a strong grip on monitoring how the country handles the spread of the virus.

There will be a quarantine on air passengers arriving into the UK
There will be a quarantine on air passengers arriving into the UK. Picture: PA

Maajid suggested that "we put some restrictions in place until the ripple goes away and we ease restrictions until we see another ripple." He felt this repeated ease and lockdown will help the UK get back to work and also prevent another spike in coronavirus numbers.

"A quarantine for travellers coming in makes sense" Maajid insisted. He went on to say "they should be quarantined when they arrive here for two weeks until this thing is under control and we've dealt with it."

He added that "as we get closer to the end of the year the restrictions become more and more liberal" and we can then think about lifting quarantine entirely. "This is a slow release from a lockdown" Maajid said, and insisted that it is the best way forward for the UK.

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