Coronavirus: Nigel Farage rows with caller over banning flights from high-risk areas

6 March 2020, 11:35 | Updated: 6 March 2020, 13:21

By Fiona Jones

Nigel Farage had a heated debate with this caller who said it would "cause chaos" to ban flights from high risk areas.

Lesley said it would "cause chaos" to stop flights coming to the UK from high-risk areas and questioned Nigel on which countries he considered high-risk.

"I'm certain Northern Italy is, I'm certain Iran is, I'm struck we've done nothing, I'm struck there are no health checks at Heathrow, I'm struck that we're behind the curve and playing catch up," Nigel said.

Lesley countered, "It's not just passenger travel, it's air freight. Every single flight that comes into this country is carrying a huge amount of freight as well. There would be mass shortages of everything including medicine.

Boris Johnson has announced we are in the 'delay' stage of the coronavirus action plan
Boris Johnson has announced we are in the 'delay' stage of the coronavirus action plan. Picture: PA

"If we start to say we're not going to accept flights from any country with more than 100 cases... we would have no flights from Singapore, America, Spain, France, Germany. I agree there should be screening."

Nigel said there would be more chaos if vast numbers of people catch coronavirus directly as a result of air travel.

"You cannot shut your borders to contain an invisible virus!" Lesley said, "It's here!"

Nigel said we might as well get flights to Wuhan going again and Lesley responded, "No, you need to look specifically at where these high-risk areas are and you've named Hong Kong as one of those areas and I think that's unfair. I think that's scaremongering, Nigel."

"My general point is we appear on the one hand to be telling everybody we're all going to get it and on the other doing almost nothing to try and stop the flow of spreaders coming into the country."