New corona restrictions

Overseas arrivals will go first in self-isolation, violators to be fined or prosecuted. BAME people including Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi more likely to die of pandemic than White people

Nation special report

LONDON: Amidst imposition of new restrictions, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has once again appealed the nation to follow the rules and regulations religiously to ensure the minimum damages to be caused by the deadly coronavirus.

The Prime minister has defended the government’s decision to impose two-week quarantine for new entrants to the UK as a growing number of Tory backbenchers voiced their objections to the restrictions.

Earlier, home secretary Priti Patel outlined time-limited quarantine measures for people arriving in the UK from overseas from June 8. Under the policy, anyone who breaches the upcoming UK quarantine rules and fails to self-isolate could be fined £1,000 or face potential prosecution. Arrivals will be required to fill in a “contact locator form”, including details on where they will isolate and how they can be contacted.

Boris Johnson-briefing

Speaking at the daily Downing Street coronavirus briefing, the prime minister said the government would review the measures every three weeks and would “explore the possibility” of “travel corridors” with countries with low rates of coronavirus.

Johnson told the Downing Street briefing on Wednesday evening that it was the right time to introduce the policy in order to minimise the risk of “imported cases triggering a second peak”. He said: “Once community transmission was widespread within the UK, cases from abroad made up a tiny proportion of the total.

Leave the property

Police in England can order people to leave a property if they are breaking new coronavirus laws – but do not have powers to forcibly remove them.

It is now a crime to stay at someone else’s home overnight, or to hold gatherings of two or more people indoors or more than six people outdoors, under new legislation.

Officers can fine rule-breakers and arrest them if they do not co-operate.

The laws came into force to coincide with lockdown restrictions being eased.

Gatherings of as many as six people from different households can now take place outdoors – such as in parks or gardens – in England, so long as people remain 2m apart.

Antibody tests

Home Secretary Priti Patel suggested that antibody tests may be needed for summer holidays and business travel abroad as she set out five key steps before the Government will relax blanket coronavirus quarantine.The Home Secretary signalled that blood testing for antibodies, which show people have already had Covid-19 and may be immune, could become a requirement for overseas trips in future, just as travel jabs or malaria tablets are now.

Her statement in the Commons this afternoon came amid increasingly desperate warnings from airlines and holiday companies that jobs and firms will be wiped out unless restrictions are eased. But Ms Patel was unbending in her insistence that a controversial blanket quarantine rule, requiring nearly all passengers arriving in the UK to go into isolation for 14 days, will come into force from Monday onwards.

BAME people

An official report has disclosed that Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) people are more likely to die of coronavirus than their white counterparts. Public Health England (PHE) research suggested people of Bangladeshi ethnicity were twice as likely to die as those who are white British.

People of Chinese, Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, other Asian, Caribbean and other Black ethnicities had a 10% to 50% higher risk of death than those of white British ethnicity. The findings are adjusted for age, sex, deprivation and region, meaning that even with disparities in those factors between ethnic groups there is still a difference in mortality rate.

But PHE stressed that the research did not account for the effect of occupation, existing conditions (comorbidities) or obesity.

“These are important factors because they are associated with the risk of acquiring Covid-19, the risk of dying, or both,” the report said. 

The report was published with ministers under pressure amid reports it could be delayed due to the Black Lives Matter protests against racism in the United States and solidarity movements around the world.