In the first quarter of 2020, over 20 million people entered the United Kingdom coinciding with the outbreak of the coronavirus global pandemic.
The Daily Mail reported that the UK Home Office revealed a staggering number of both foreigners and citizens coming to the country via airports and sea.
Towards the end of the quarter, the total number slumped against the previous year as other countries began introducing travel restrictions to slow the spread of infection.
Despite falling 18% against the previous year, the UK failed to implement any health checks and required newcomers to begin social distancing, similar to the wider population.
Although the outbreak originated in Wuhan, almost 35,000 Chinese nationals came to the UK within the first quarter.
The UK has been slammed for neglecting any formal health checks for new arrivals.
National File reported on the UK being the only country without any border restrictions or health checks for arrivals–and Papua New Guinea and Afghanistan were the only country, at the time of the article, to have unrestricted access, but with health checks at the border.
According to Metro:
Despite strict rules on the movement of people within the UK, there are no limitations on passengers arriving from outside.
Researchers tracking different government responses to the coronavirus pandemic found this was at odds with policies around the globe. Live data shows the majority of countries have imposed some form of international travel controls in a bid to limit imported cases.
The UK’s largest airports will belatedly roll out temperature screening as bosses look to get the tourism industry back on track following lockdowns.