BBC’s Radio 4 Today Programme host Martha Kearney attacked German diplomat Andreas Michaelis for not addressing a pressing issue in the EU’s coronavirus air bridges travel plan. Germany is expected to take take the lead on the European Union’s post-COVID-19 recovery. While on the Today Programme, German Ambassador to the UK Andreas Michaelis argued in favour of no quarantine from European member state citizens who enter the UK.
However, Ms Kearney noted there was nothing to stop citizens from outside the EU, travelling into the member states and then into the UK.
Ms Kearney said: “Whatever the list the UK Government draws up, isn’t it in a sense going to be preempted by what the European Union has done.
“Travelers could come from Algeria, Japan or China to an EU country and then onwards to the UK.”
Mr Michaelis admitted this was a difficulty and may prove problematic.
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He said: “Well, yes there are difficulties but that is why we trialled it after the initial phase.
“I will admit it was not well coordinated among member states of the European Union.
“To harmonise our policies I think we have since taken many good steps forward.”
The German diplomat added that during the Brexit transition period the UK is still being treated as a member state.
He continued: “Don’t forget, during the transition period the UK is still treated as a member or equivalent of a member state of the European Union.
“It should profit at least until the 31st of December from the EU’s unified policy.”
Regarding travel between the UK and EU countries, Mr Michaelis explained how the EU determines the safety of forming air bridges.
Mr Michaelis said: “At the moment, things look pretty safe.
“We have a local criterion which is very important for us which is 50 new infections over seven days among 100,000 of the population.
“At the moment it is only Sweden in Europe that lies above this threshold.
“Also the UK, if I am not mistaken, is at 40 per 100,000 so there shouldn’t be a problem.”
The UK is expected to announce its air bridge plan on Thursday this week after the Monday announcement was postponed.