Petition Do not enforce a compulsory quarantine on people arriving in the UK
Instead, the Government should focus on increasing testing capabilities, ensuring hospitals and care homes are well equipped, and helping businesses and individuals gradually resume their activities so the economy can start recovering.
The damage this extreme and all-encompassing measure could cause could far outweigh any potential benefits.
The hospitality industry is already struggling with thousands of jobs at risk and many businesses on the brink of collapse.
Enforcing a compulsory quarantine so late in the fight against coronavirus is counterproductive. Tourism and business travellers are key to relaunching the economy. Imposing a self-quarantine significantly reduces incoming travel with catastrophic consequences.
This response was given on 3 July 2020
The Government’s self-isolation measures at the border, introduced on 8 June, are informed by science, are designed to help prevent a second wave of the COVID-19 virus and are regularly reviewed.
Effective from 8 June, border health measures are in place for entering the UK. The rules cover UK residents and visitors. Passengers need to provide journey and contact details when travelling to the UK and are not allowed to leave the place they are staying for the first 14 days (self-isolation) except in very limited situations. As public health matters are devolved, HM Government worked closely with the Devolved Administrations to build a four nations approach, and broadly equivalent measures were introduced by the administrations in each of the nations on the same date.
The need for the restrictions is regularly reviewed. The reviews are guided by the scientific advice and consider factors such as the domestic and international incidence of COVID-19, and the level of infection and transmission. The economic impact of the measures, and new initiatives being trialled to secure safe travel, are also taken into account during these reviews.
Implementation of these measures has not detracted from our overall work to contain the virus.
The Government is committed to ensuring hospitals and care homes are well equipped. The Government has been clear the NHS will get whatever funding it needs to respond to the Coronavirus. On 2 April, the Health Secretary announced £13.4 billion of NHS debt will be written off, as part of a major financial reset for NHS providers. The Chancellor also launched an initial £5 billion Coronavirus fund at Budget 2020 to cover costs of the response to the public sector. On 13 April, the Treasury increased this to a £14.5 billion Coronavirus emergency response fund, of which £6.6 billion will go to health services. DHSC is continuing to work with the NHS and HMT to ensure the NHS gets the funding and resources it needs.
We also recognise COVID-19 is imposing significant pressures on the social care sector. We have now made £3.2 billion available to local authorities so they can address pressures on local services caused by the pandemic, including in adult social care. On 15 May we published details of an additional £600 million Infection Control Fund for Adult Social Care.
Testing is a key part of the UK’s response to COVID-19, and we have rapidly expanded our capacity over the last few months, to ensure anyone who needs a test can get one. From 2,000 tests per day in March we now have the capacity to conduct nearly 300,000 tests per day across the entire testing programme and will continue to scale our capacity to meet the demand as appropriate.
We are aware of the special circumstances affecting social care services and have made sure testing is available for:
All residents in care homes and asymptomatic social care staff through the whole care home portal;
All patients discharged from hospital into care homes;
Domiciliary care staff, volunteers and unpaid carers via the employer referral or self-referral portal if they have symptoms.
We have also made testing available for all symptomatic people in England and Wales – and anyone with symptoms aged five and over across the whole of the UK.
More information about COVID-19 and getting tested is available here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-getting-tested.
At 100,000 signatures...
At 100,000 signatures, this petition will be considered for debate in Parliament
Other parliamentary business
E-petition session on easing Covid-19 lockdown restrictions
On Wednesday 15 July, the Petitions Committee will hold its first ever hybrid ‘e-petitions session’ in response to petitions relating to the easing of Coronavirus lockdown restrictions, including this one.
MPs will discuss the Government’s approach to easing the lockdown, in light of petitions about easing Covid-19 restrictions on certain sectors, businesses and activities which have gained over 287,000 signatures. Chloe Smith MP, Minister of State at the Cabinet Office, will respond for the Government.
This session has been scheduled because sittings in Westminster Hall (where e-petitions are normally debated) are still suspended as part of Parliament’s arrangements for adapting to the Coronavirus outbreak, and because the Government has not provided more time for debates on e-petitions in the main Chamber of the House of Commons.
In this session, MPs will be able to take part in person or remotely via video link. This will be the first time that MPs will discuss e-petitions in this new hybrid format. Petitions sessions and debates are an opportunity for MPs to discuss the important issues raised by petitions, however they cannot directly change the law or result in a vote to implement the request of the petition.
Petitions Committee requests a revised response from the Government
The Petitions Committee (the group of MPs who oversee the petitions system) have considered the Government’s response to this petition. They felt that the response did not directly address the request of petition and have therefore written back to the Government to ask them to provide a revised response.
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