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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Labour party urges UK to close borders to Thailand, Vietnam

Neill Fronde



PHOTO: Shadow Home Secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds says the UK should close to Thailand and Vietnam for Covid-19 safety. (via Wikimedia)

The Labour party in the United Kingdom has suggested that the UK border be closed to travellers from Vietnam and Thailand, citing the appearance and spread of a variety of Covid-19 variants. Home Secretary Priti Patel was warned Friday night by Shadow Home Secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds that the two Southeast Asian nations should be moved to the red list and travel all but forbidden.

The move comes after the variant that had been nicknamed the Thai strain, discovered in Thailand on May 24, has been found in 117 Covid-19 infections in the UK, with over a third of them from people returning from travel in the region. The opposition cited unclear information about holidays to Amber list countries as opening the door to new variants that could put Britain’s recovery from the pandemic at risk.

The proposal includes Vietnam despite its fantastic containment and handling of Covid-19, as a new outbreak of the Coronavirus in the past few weeks, Vietnam’s worst of the pandemic, has found traces of a new hybrid strain as well. The Shadow Home Secretary fears that if action isn’t taken quickly, it puts the June 21 reopening at risk.

Thomas-Symonds complained that countries with growing outbreaks and new variants that are often more contagious, more deadly, or more vaccine-resistant, should have been immediately added to the Red List. He said the Amber List is not effective in preventing variants from around the world to travel to the UK.

“The UK Government must add all countries on the Amber List to the Red List. Failing that, they should at the very least add Thailand and Vietnam to the Red List immediately.”

The Shadow Home Secretary said failing to prevent importation to the UK of new Covid-19 variants like the strains identified in Thailand, Brazil, India and South Africa would be like history repeating. He complained that mass confusion of the unclear Amber List is recklessly responsible for travellers from at-risk countries bringing new Covid-19 strains in already and need to be curbed immediately.

SOURCE: The Independent


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Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10 years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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