Britain to launch 14-day quarantine for arriving travelers, airlines say

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May 9 (UPI) — British airlines said they have been told the government is planning a 14-day quarantine for anyone arriving there from any country other Ireland.

Government and aviation sources told BBC News the quarantine means people might have to provide an address as they arrive at the border.

The implementation of the quarantine is expected to happen by the end of the month.

Air passengers arriving in Britain would have to self-isolate for 14 days in a private residence.

Details such as whether arriving travelers will be able to stay in a rented private place and how long the quarantine policy will remain in effect remain unclear.

“We need to see the details of what they are proposing,” said Airlines UK, which represents British Airways, EasyJet and other British-based airlines, in a statement.

Airline representatives expect to get more clarity in a conference call Sunday morning with Aviation Minister Kelly Tolhurst.

Essential workers such as lorry drivers who transport goods and shipping industry workers are expected to be exempt, BBC News reported.

The Airport Operators Association warned Friday that quarantine measures could hurt not only the aviation industry, but also the British economy.

“Aviation is an enabler for many other industries, such as manufacturers, tourism and the hospitality industry,” AOA Chief Executive Karen Dee said. “If the government believe quarantine is medically necessary, then it should be applied on a selective basis following the science.”

Airports “cannot survive a further protracted period without passengers that would be the result of quarantine measures,” she added.

Britain surpassed Italy earlier this week with the most COVID-19 deaths in Europe. As of Saturday, Britain had 216,525 cases and 31,662 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University global tracker of cases.

According to Statista, as of Saturday, Belgium has the highest number of deaths per million people from the coronavirus pandemic at 746 deaths per million.

Spain is the second highest at 562, followed by Italy at 499, Britain at 469, France at 391, Sweden at 311, Netherlands at 311, Ireland at 294, the United States at 235 and Switzerland at 214 deaths per million, rounding out the 10 countries with the highest COVID-19 death rates.

Chinese authorities first identified a cluster of pneumonia cases in Wuhan, China, in December. Scientists blamed the outbreak on a novel coronavirus in January.

Evidence suggests the initial outbreak was associated with a seafood market in Wuhan, China, according to the World Health Organization.

As of Saturday, the number of cases in China reached 83,976, according to the global tracker. The country reported 4,637 deaths.

China has 3 deaths per million, according to Statista.

China’s President XI jinping offered Saturday to help North Korean leader Kim Jong Un respond to the coronavirus pandemic.

The offer was made in a letter Xi sent to Kim. China’s state-run Xinhua News Agency published details of the letter.

Xi said he was concerned about “prevention and control of the North Korean epidemic and health of the Korean people.”

The news agency added that Xi offered China’s help to support North Korea’s response to the pandemic.

“China is willing to strengthen anti-epidemic cooperation with the DPRK and provide support withing its ability according to the needs of the DPEK,” Xi wrote, using the acronym for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. “It is believed that with the joint efforts of both China and the DPRK and the international community, the final victory in this fight against the epidemic will be achieved.”

The World Health Organization has not received any reports from North Korea of coronavirus cases.

Still, North Korea is ramping up its “anti-epidemic activities” in response to the “widespread malignant virus infection,” according to state-run Korean Central News Agency.

Worldwide, the United States had the most COVID-19 cases (1,298,117) and the most deaths (78,084). Globally, there have been more than 3.9 million cases and more than 277,000 deaths.

Spain has the second highest number of cases worldwide at 222,857, with 26,299 deaths. Some lockdown restrictions were lifted Monday as cases dropped to as low as they were before the lockdown began March 14, but the national government Friday rejected a request by the Madrid region to ease restrictions on social mobility.

National health officials opted to wait until the region’s testing capabilities are “more robust.”

South Korea, which has received international praise for largely bringing the coronavirus under control, has closed nightclubs amid spike in cases tied to nightlife.

The country’s capital Seoul had loosened its social distancing guidelines days earlier after continuing a monthlong streak of daily cases below 100. Since the virus outbreak began, the country, which has about one-sixth the population of the United States, has reported 10,840 cases and 256 deaths.

Park Won-soon, mayor of Itaewon, a neighborhood known for its dining and nightlife, said in a briefing that as of noon Saturday COVID-19 cases tied to clubs and bars increased to 40.

In response, Park ordered nightclubs, discos, bars and similar nightlife establishments in Seoul closed.

A 29-year-old man visited clubs and bars last weekend before noticing symptoms of the respiratory illness, officials said. He tested positive Wednesday and was admitted to a hospital in Suwon, south of Seoul.

The spike has sparked recollections of the outbreak at a religious sect in February, which spiked daily infections in the nation to almost 1,000. Authorities estimate the man may have come into contact with more than 1,500 people across the five venues last weekend.

The International Monetary Fund has projected the world economy to contract by 3 percent this year due to the pandemic, which it said is “much worse than during the 2008-09 financial crisis.”

World moves to reopen amid COVID-19 pandemic

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson claps outside Downing Street in London to show his support for key workers during the coronavirus pandemic on May 7. Doctors released Johnson from the intensive care unit in mid-April after he spent about a week in the hospital with COVID-19 Photo by Hugo Philpott/UPI | License Photo

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