Orkney and Shetland Liberal Democrat MP, Alistair Carmichael, has today challenged the Prime Minister to repair public confidence in the government’s response to Covid-19 by adopting a more targeted approach on international quarantine. Public health experts have criticised the government’s quarantine policy as coming months too late and a distraction from the vital test and trace system.
Speaking in the House, Mr Carmichael said:
“If people are to take advantage of these freeing of restrictions then they must have confidence in judgement of the Prime Minister and those around him. He must surely realise that recent events have done some damage in this regard. If he wishes to repair some of that damage, will he end the much-ridiculed quarantine period for those coming from overseas?”
Responding, the Prime Minister said:
“I must say to him on the quarantine issue, I do think it is very sensible for this country to have measures in place to protect our population from vectors of disease coming back into this country from abroad.”
Reacting after the exchange, Mr Carmichael said:
“I fear that the Prime Minister continues to miss the point about the problems with a blanket quarantine for overseas travel. With the UK still one of the countries worst-affected by Covid-19, all that a blind quarantine does is distract from fixing the problems at home.
“What we need is a targeted approach with an effective tracing programme, so that our communities can have confidence as we slowly resume normal life.”