As the UK lockdown begins to ease, conversation has begun around how the UK will completely exit lockdown, and it looks like our Southern counterparts might be getting some preferential treatment – if certain MPs get a say in the matter, that is.
Former Brexit secretary and Tory MP David Davis has spoken out following quarantine plans announced by Priti Patel today (which require international arrivals to self-isolate for 14 days), saying that people from the North pose a bigger risk to Londoners than international visitors do.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4 this afternoon, Davis said: “We are going to say to Greeks coming here: ‘You are going to [spend] 14 days in quarantine,’ whereas if I come down from Doncaster I go through King’s Cross without a stop,”
Before adding: “Where is the science in saying [that] to someone from Athens, which has a very low rate, or any part of Greece, versus someone from Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds or wherever?
“Let’s imagine a constituent of mine went off on holiday in Greece now […] and I spent two weeks in Yorkshire, which of us is the more risky when we come to London?”
Greece has had a total of 2,853 cases during the pandemic, and just 168 deaths, with their Prime Minister confirming today that’ll officially be reopening for tourism soon. And while we hate to hear that our Southern counterparts could be favoured when it comes to easing lockdown rules, the science reveals that Yorkshire has had a total of 13,685 cases so far – much higher than those of some European countries.
The discussion comes as Downing Street have suggested that London could potentially come out of lockdown sooner than the rest of the country, reportedly having a lower R rate than other regions.
An official spokesperson for Boris Johnson has said today: “As we are able to gather more data and have better surveillance of a rate of infection in different parts of the country then we will be able to lift measures quicker in some parts of the country than in others.
“And equally we will be able to put the brakes on in some parts of the country while not having to do so in other parts.”
While there may be some science behind the opinion, it appears MPs might be forgetting the arrivals that will be coming into large airports in the North such as Manchester Airport and Leeds Bradford – and additionally, how Southerners could still pose a risk to the rest of the UK, with large numbers of day-trippers heading to Yorkshire’s beauty spots in recent weeks, putting our locals at risk.
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