Britons cite ‘shocking’ lack of testing and advice after landing back in UK

Britons returning to the UK from abroad have lambasted the "shocking" lack of testing and medical advice upon arriving back on home soil following the coronavirus outbreak.

Some passengers told the PA news agency other countries appeared to be taking the Covid-19 pandemic much more seriously, with medical questionnaires and health checks at land borders and travel terminals.

They said there was a chronic lack of similar measures upon landing in the UK, with air passengers breezing through security as though it was "a normal working day" and being left clueless about whether to go into quarantine.

30 PHOTOS
Pictures of the week: March 29 - April 4
See Gallery
Pictures of the week: March 29 - April 4
Artist Rachel List with her mural supporting the NHS on the side of Horse Vaults pub in Pontefract, Yorkshire, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Janet Woodcock holds a social distance dancing event with the residents of Springbourne in Frodsham, Cheshire as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Photo taken at 10:56am of medical staff at an NHS drive through coronavirus disease (COVID-19) testing facility in an IKEA car park, Wembley as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Local resident Alex Girdwood working on her plot at Mudchute Allotments on the Isle of Dogs, east London, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Ambulances outside the Harrogate Convention Centre that is being converted to take up to 500 patients from Yorkshire and the north-east of England, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
ROMFORD, ENGLAND - APRIL 02: Fallow deer from Dagnam Park rest and graze on the grass outside homes on a housing estate in Harold Hill, near Romford on April 02, 2020 in Romford, England. The semi-urban deer are a regular sight in the area around the park but as the roads have become quieter due to the nationwide lockdown, the deer have staked a claim on new territories in the vicinity. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has spread to many countries across the world, claiming over 40,000 lives and infecting hundreds of thousands more. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)
A London Ambulance worker wearing PPE cleans an ambulance after a patient is brought into St Thomas' Hospital in London as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Jack Tucker, 7, places his rainbow in the window of a house in Bedminster, Bristol as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
A coronavirus notice in a shop doorway in Bristol as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
A temporary mortuary which being built in Manor Flats in the Manor Park area of Newham in east London as the number of deaths from Covid-19 in the UK surpassed two thousand.
A solo skater exercises in a makeshift skate park on a derelict car wash site in Bristol as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
A cyclist passes street art in Stokes Croft, Bristol, as the UK enters the second week of lockdown due to the global coronavirus pandemic.
London ambulances line a street in Westminster, London as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Customers observing social distancing in the queue for a supermarket in Westminster, London as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Sid Lovatt with his 3D printed protective mask that he has been supplying to front-line workers, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
A woman wearing a face mask walks past an open shop in St Pauls, Bristol, as the UK enters the second week of lockdown due to the global coronavirus pandemic.
A Taylor Wimpey housing development in Telford where building work has ceased as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Sold out delivery spots as the ASDA website is pictured on a laptop as Supermarket websites are overwhelmed by online orders during the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
A paramedic wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) exits an ambulance outside St Thomas' Hospital in Westminster, London, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
A food parcel and notecard prepared for those less fortunate in Cheltenham as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
People using the towpath along the River Lea beside Hackney Marshes, in east London as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Clementine Sage(L) and Lucy Paterson perform Muay Thai in Kevingrove Park in Glasgow as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
A motorist wearing a face mask drives through the streets of Glasgow as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
A COVID-19 sign instructing walkers to observe a 2 metre gap on Wimbledon Common and Putney Heath as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
People walk along the beach in Broadstairs, Kent, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
People walk down Market Street, Manchester as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
A woman runs past closed kiosks in Scarborough as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Roads are deserted in Bournemouth as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
A message left by an eight year old girl on a beach groyne in Whitstable, Kent, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
An empty stretch of the M5 motorway in Strensham, Worcestershire as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

Mete Coban, a 27-year-old charity pioneer and Hackney councillor, who returned to Heathrow Airport from the US on March 16, said: "Considering just how seriously authorities were treating Covid-19 in the US, I was shocked at just how little the UK authorities seemed to care when arriving at Heathrow.

"I think it's completely irresponsible that we're not at least providing guidance to people about social distancing and giving medical advice."

Chloe Sloggett, a 24-year-old aesthetics practitioner from north London, said there were far more medical checks in place in Cambodia and Malaysia than upon her arrival in the UK.

Ms Sloggett, who arrived at Heathrow on Saturday with her fiance Toby Hastie, said: "As we walked through Heathrow there were posters to explain dos/don'ts and signs to keep two metres' distance, but no-one there was enforcing it.

"We had our temperature checked in Phnom Penh (Cambodia) twice and then again in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), but nothing when we landed in the UK."

Ms Sloggett said she was in a self-imposed isolation at home since returning.

Marc Wilson, a 33-year-old postman from Southampton, said he was similarly confused by a lack of advice on what to do upon his arrival from Guatemala via Mexico and the US.

Mr Wilson, who landed at Heathrow on Sunday morning, said: "In the Americas, I was checked at every land border, every flight, I had doctors asking me questions.

"I landed at Heathrow and there was no advice or anything. I couldn't see any answers online whether I had to go in quarantine or not."

The Department of Health said the advice for all Britons, whether returning to the UK or not, was the same – to stay at home and only leave if essential.

However, other countries have introduced strict quarantine measures for those entering the country.

This includes in the US and New Zealand, where travellers must isolate themselves for 14 days upon arrival.

Nick Russell, who is due to return to the UK from Auckland in the coming days, said confusion reigned over whether he and his wife would be subject to quarantine.

Mr Russell, from Berkshire, said: "We have very little idea what happens when we arrive at Heathrow.

"Will we be escorted to some compulsory 14-days quarantine facility? Can we be met by a friend to take us home? What can we do when we arrive home?

"There are simply no written answers we can find on the Government website."

Read Full Story Click here to comment

FROM OUR PARTNERS