Prime Minister Boris Johnson appeared at Downing Street today to discuss the UK government’s plan of action surrounding the coronavirus epidemic. He was joined by the UK’S Chief Medical Officer and Chief Scientific Advisor. Within the conference, the PM addressed Britons with holiday plans who may be concerned about travelling to another country.
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Although he said that travel should not be an issue for most Britons, he warned that some countries may not be well equipped to cope with the strain on their medical system.
The Chief Scientific Advisor said: “If you happen to be in a place with a weak service at the peak of the epidemic that might be more problematic.
“This is an issue for people who are older or have existing medical conditions.
“Consider the practicalities but that isn’t a point about moving the virus around, its just a practicality.”
The Prime Minister also said that once the epidemic is everywhere, then actually restricting travel makes no sense at all.
Although the government said that holidays could still go ahead, it did advise to “curb all unnecessary travel”, especially for those who have existing medical conditions or are at risk.
“For the vast majority of us we should be going about our business as normal,” urged Johnson.
He said the government are “prepared for all eventualities” and “will make sure the NHS gets all the support it needs.”
In partnership with the NHS, the government has developed a four-point plan.
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It will focus on containing the virus, delaying its spread, researching its origins and cure, and mitigating the impact should the virus become more widespread.
Johnson reminded Britons that the best way to steer clear of the virus is by enforcing proper hand hygiene.
This includes washing hands with soap and water for 20 seconds.
The World Health Organisation supports this advice, with the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention adding that travellers should “avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.”
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Despite this, travel experts have dubbed airports as some of the worst places for contamination.
Travel expert Simon Calder dubbed airports “the most dangerous place to be”.
However, airports across the world are amping up sanitary procedures in a bid to lessen the impact of the virus.
Heathrow Airport announced it would undergo a “deep clean” to protect travellers.
Speaking on BBC Breakfast Chief Executive at Heathrow Airport, John-Holland Kaye outlined the intensive steps they are taking to protect those passing through the international flight hub.
He said: “We are deep cleaning the airport so that handrails and things that people might touch will be as clean as possible and also making sure that there’s a provision of hand sanitiser as well as the usual bathroom cleaning to make sure that people can keep their hands clean because, as we know, that is the biggest risk of infection.
“We’ve provided extra sanitiser to our direct colleagues.”
Currently, the global infection rate has surpassed 92,000.
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