Late June 2020 written answers

International flights

Question No: 2020/1576

Andrew Dismore

International flights have been and are still landing on a regular basis at Heathrow and until recently other London airports, with no testing or required quarantine of passengers at the airport or elsewhere, unlike many other European and worldwide countries; do you consider this failure to test arriving passengers to have contributed to the spread of Covid-19; and what do you think should now happen?

Answer for International flights

The Mayor

Last updated: 27 May, 2020

Officers are drafting a response

International flights

The Mayor

Last updated: 29 June, 2020

My statutory powers do not extend to border controls and airports; however, London has many international air, rail and sea gateways and I have made representations to government to ensure that Londoners’ health is protected.

On the basis of the international experience, and drawing upon the example of Hong-Kong, Germany and New Zealand in particular, I wrote to the Secretary of State for Transport and the Home Secretary asking for an urgent update on plans to strengthen international arrival procedures. I presented the stricter measures adopted by other countries and contrasted these with the UK’s very limited response, with no testing or requirement to self-isolate. I am reassured to see some measures have since been announced and are being implemented by all ports of entry into London and the UK. I urge the government to ensure that evidence-based methods to control this pandemic, like a robust test – track – isolate and support system, are mobilized and reach effective capacity as quickly as possible.