The UK’s Covid policy on those arriving from China has been slammed as it was revealed that those who test positive can still enter the country and go “wherever they want”.
The announcement on Friday brings the UK into line with a growing number of countries – including the US, Italy, India and Japan – in imposing new controls as Beijing reopens its borders.
Some scientists have said such measures are unlikely to prevent new variants reaching the UK.
Now, it has been revealed that those who test positive for the virus are not required to quarantine and are still able to travel freely within the UK.
Simon Calder shared the news while speaking to Tonia Buxton on GB News, he said: “Yesterday was actually three years since the United Nations’ World Health Organisation said ‘our China office has just heard that there’s this new strain of something odd happening in Wuhan in China, and it’s tied to a seafood market there’.
“Anyway, here we are back again with the restrictions clattering into place. So, a whole number of countries are now coming up with restrictions against China.
“Some of them are saying, as the UK is, you’re going to have to test before you’re allowed on a plane coming into the UK. Lots of medical people I speak to say it’s not going to make much difference.
“Other countries like Japan says, ‘right, you’re flying in from China, you’re going to take a test. If that test is positive, you are going to be put in hotel quarantine for a week’.
“Now the UK is saying, we’re going to test one in five people on arrival at London Heathrow. And so I said, ‘well, what happens if they’re positive?’ And they said, well, we encourage them to steer clear of other people, but they can go wherever they want to.
China face accusations of not releasing Covid data after it was revealed that it has submitted less than 1,000 samples of the virus to the international scientific community in the last four weeks.
The UK by contrast shared 7,325 Covid sequences from 138,041 cases with Gisaid, a global pathogen database used by scientists to identify and track Covid and its variants.
The sequences contain details about the genetic compositions of the virus variations are made.