PRITI Patel is considering calls for the UK to ban flights from coronavirus hotspots like the US and Iran to stop the spread further.
As Europe is mostly locked down with limited travel in and out, the Home Secretary is said to be looking at whether to push for extra measures for countries outside the EU.
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The Daily Telegraph reported that she believes visitors from nations such as Iran, the US and China should not be continuing to fly into the UK at the current time.
And the paper claimed she is seeking Cabinet backing for her plans.
“There is no doubt that we are going to come under increasing pressure to sort this,” one source told the paper.
“At the moment anyone can come into the UK as a tourist from Iran. The only limitation is what that country is doing domestically to stop people going to an airport in the first place.
“We want to stop non-EEA nationals from flying into the UK. The EU is not a problem for the most part because their domestic lockdowns are so severe.
“We are most concerned about the daily flights from the US and Iran which are coming in on a daily basis.”
However, the ultimate responsibility over flights and travel will rest with the Foreign Office.
The World Health Organisation has advised against travel restrictions, saying: “Travel bans to affected areas or denial of entry to passengers coming from affected areas are usually not effective in preventing the importation of cases but may have a significant economic and social impact.”
Today No10 said there were “no plans” for Britain to shut any borders.
A Downing Street spokesperson said: “The level of onward travel to the UK has fallen greatly since the outbreak of the virus.
“The Chief Medical Officer has said there is no evidence that closing borders would have an impact on the spread of the infection.
“We are doing everything we can to help British nationals abroad get back to the UK.”
Iran and the US have both seen huge spikes in the number of cases being recorded in the last week.
Traffic arrivals into the UK are around 100,000 every day – but this has fallen from half a million before the pandemic began.
Airlines have been cancelling flights for weeks as they desperately try to stop their businesses from going under.
Britain has told all UK nationals abroad to come home now – or they could be stuck out there.
Shutting borders completely would leave thousands of British travellers stranded.
Several flights come into the UK every day from New York, Tehran, Rome and Beijing.
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But passengers showing symptoms of the infection are not allowed to board flights in most countries.
However, when they get to the UK there are no health or temperature checks.
They are asked to self isolate at home for 14 days but there is little they can to do enforce this.
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