As the UK enters its second week of ‘test and trace’, it would appear that the UK’s borders seem not to be getting the same level of virus control/monitoring as the UK population is.
Emergency Services News has been contacted by a Border Force Agent who has written to us, outlining their concerns over what they see as a cavalier approach to ‘busloads’ of visitors who are entering the country by ferry.
Our source told us that nobody is being admitted to French passport control unless they are wearing a facemask.
But owing to the lack of facemasks being available on coaches, it means that many passengers simply are not being checked by border authorities.
Our source told us that on one coach carrying 47 passengers, only 5 had facemasks.
To get around the problem, passengers are sharing their facemasks with each other so that they can get through passport control.
But this sharing of PPE amongst complete strangers who have spent many hours on the coach with each other means that if any of the passengers are infected with COVID-19, then there is a high probability that other passengers who are sharing PPE to get through passport control, will also become infected as they seek entry into the UK through French ports.
Our source said:
“We are not imposing any control, other than checking to see that the person presenting the passport / ID card is the rightful holder and not subject to any warnings.
“PAF (French Police) were sending people out of their “Coach Hall” if they were not wearing any mask – once they have a mask on, they are checked in line with Schengen Controls and allowed to proceed to us.
“So – sharing of masks and the inherent risks – by people who have been sat in a bus for over 24 hrs – all coming to the UK with no health controls.
“The suggestion that they will self-isolate is ludicrous.
“Coquelles, Dunkerque and Calais have been wide open.
“It was darkly amusing to watch them swapping masks but worrying at the same time”.
As the government starts to relax some of the lockdown rules, owing to the Prime Minister’s five ‘tests’ having been met, some Border Force staff are concerned that the next spike in COVID-19 cases could come due to lax health monitoring at the UK’s borders.
The UK Border Agency has been contacted for comment.
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