British epidemiologists say “air corridors make no sense”

Two leading British epidemiologists defend that the way forwards for the UK to ‘wipe out Covid-19’ once and for all is basically to ‘roll up the drawbridge’ and stop Britons from travelling full stop.

In an opinion article in the Guardian newspaper, David Hunter, professor of epidemiology and medicine at the University of Oxford and Neil Pearce, professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, are encouraging the British government to follow the examples of other island nationals like New Zealand and Taiwan. These have essentially eliminated the virus – by not letting anyone in or out – and are now at the point where life is “going on largely as usual with families gathering, full stands at sporting events and internal economies almost back to normal”.

The solution therefore to conquering the virus is not to go on monitoring situations in other countries to see if it is still safe for nationals to travel to them, but to simply take these countries out of the equation, say the two experts.

By “abandoning” what they dub “the trouble air-bridge system – the deficiencies of which are becoming increasingly clear”, Britain could get back to the point where it had “a relatively normal internal economy”.

“The prize is huge”, the men insist. 

It is “getting children back to school; releasing our aged population from home isolation or confinement in care homes; protecting our black and minority-ethnic communities; revitalising the arts and sports. And the reduction in the probability of a second wave in winter, crippling the NHS and requiring a second national lockdown”.

The text in the Guardian even refers to Shakespeare to embellish the argument.

Shakespeare called England: “This fortress built by nature for herself against infection. And now the Independent Sage committee (which shadows Britain’s official science advisory group) and other experts have called for a goal of zero coronavirus – elimination of the virus – rather than settling for suppression”, write the men.

There is no indication the opinion article has the backing of Boris Johnson’s government – or that it may even have been strategically placed to prepare the way for a rigid ‘zero-travel policy’ where anyone arriving would have to be placed into ‘hotel quarantine’ (like in New Zealand and Taiwan). But it certainly shows the ‘Brexit mentality’ could be moving up a notch.

One minute Britons are being actively encouraged to take ‘Staycations’, the next Staycations may be the only holidays they are allowed to take, in the interests of course of their own safety.

To read the Guardian article in full click here

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