Border controls

The madness of Hancock’s quarantine prison threat

Nobody has done much travelling this winter apart from Instagram influencers travelling to Dubai to pose with baby tigers. But the United Arab Emirates is now on the government’s red list. Should the influencers wish to return home they face a dilemma: spend £1,750 to be locked up for ten days in a Slough Premier Inn, or (and I fear this may come more naturally to some influencers) lie. Lying about where you have come from, though, is to be made exceedingly risky, with a maximum ten year prison sentence about to be introduced. For the same number of years — should you be so inclined — you could be

Hancock launches his quarantine crackdown

The search for the right balance on border policy continues, as Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced this afternoon a host of new measures that travellers coming to the UK will face. From Monday, all arrivals will need to take two PCR tests: one on day two and another on day eight of self-isolation. This will apply to everyone, regardless of where they are travelling in from or whether they are quarantining in a hotel or in their home. This means anyone arriving in the UK will now be taking a total of three Covid-19 tests, as a negative test within 72 hours of travel is also required. Hancock announced that any

Isolation nation: how Australia is dealing with its pandemic

At 6.20 p.m. on Friday evening, Scarborough Beach, an oceanside suburb of Perth, looked like it always does: families picnicked on grassy dunes overlooking the Indian Ocean, queues were forming outside bars lining the shore, and inside restaurants, groups chatted casually over cold beers. Given the bustle, it’s hard to believe a city-wide lockdown ended only 20 minutes earlier, triggered on the Sunday before after Western Australia recorded its first domestically transmitted case of coronavirus in ten months. The country’s pandemic strategy would look alien to many in Europe, which has been more akin to New Zealand’s or Asian countries like South Korea and Taiwan. The country shut its borders

PMQs: Starmer’s opposition is strangely muted

Boris Johnson had a very difficult backdrop to today’s Prime Minister’s Questions, having marked 100,000 deaths in the coronavirus pandemic last night. But, strangely, he didn’t have a particularly difficult session in the Commons. Sir Keir Starmer did, as you might expect, lead on the death toll, asking the Prime Minister repeatedly why he thought the UK had such a high death rate, and why he wouldn’t learn the lessons from the pandemic now so that the government didn’t repeat its mistakes. Johnson was able to deal with this reasonably easily, arguing that while he did think there would be a time to learn the lessons of what happened, that