Time To Lower The Portcullis?

I woke up too early this morning, so a little stroll around global news channels to find something non coronavirus related. Difficult, especially with the continued headline shenanigans spewing out of the USA. So I wanted to pick up on these USA anti-lockdown protests for a moment and a thought that has plagued (pardon the pun) the grey matter these past few days

“The US has by far the world’s largest number of confirmed coronavirus cases, with more than 706,000 and at least 31,000 deaths. New York state accounts for nearly half of those deaths.”

(Source: Al Jazeera)
As at 01.00am BST this morning, the USA state of New York alone has:
  • Total Cases: 241,041
  • Active Cases: 199,483
As at the same timestamp, the whole of the United Kingdom has:
  • Total Cases: 114,217
  • Active Cases: 98,409
(Source: Worldometers)
That’s double! Yes, the amount of Covid-19 cases in New York alone is more than double that of the whole of the UK. Yet this morning, SIX flights will arrive into London Heathrow from New York as:

05.44am: AA9432 ex JFK 07.34am: VS699 ex JFK 07.43am: BA114 ex JFK 07.51am: BA172 ex JFK 08.51am: VS10 ex JFK 09.02am: VS688 ex JFK

plus FOURTEEN flights from other US airports of:
  • Newark
  • Boston
  • Chicago
  • Dallas
  • Miami
  • Atlanta
  • Los Angeles
  • San Fransisco
  • Washington
(Source: Flight Radar 24)
That’s 20 flights in total today arriving into London Heathrow alone, from ten departure airports in the USA, of which eight of these departure airports are listed within seven of the top 10 infected US states of:
  • New York
  • New Jersey
  • Massachusetts
  • California
  • Illinois
  • Florida
  • Texas
Of the four Travel Advisory levels of the US Department of State, level 4 being “Do not travel”, the UK is categorised as level 2, being “Exercise caution”. (Source: US Department of State)

In summary, there are 20 flights arriving into London Heathrow today that depart from 10 different airports within the USA, eight of those airports reside within seven of the top 10 infected states within the USA. Expand that to include Georgia as the 11th biggest infected state, that’s 20 flights from 10 airports, nine airports within the top 11 infected states.

In other words, other than the one flight from Washington, every other flight from the USA arriving into Heathrow today will depart from one of the top 11 infected states within the USA. And that’s scary!

Two Questions

  1. Be they crew, British citizens, American visitors or other passengers, what are the quarantine policies at Heathrow for arrivals from the USA?
  2. Isn’t now the time that the UK government reciprocate border closures to all flights departing the USA?