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Home secretary Priti Patel gave a rambling and inaccurate explanation when asked why quarantines for overseas visitors will not start until June 8, given that the move is being touted as a lifesaver.
Patel announced on Friday that mandatory self-isolation is being introduced from that date to prevent a second peak of coronavirus being introduced by travellers from abroad.
At the daily Downing Street press conference, the secretary of state was asked by Liz Bates from Channel 4 News why the move was not going ahead immediately.
Patel replied: “As I outlined in the statement quite clearly, we said very clearly now that as the number of infections within the UK dropped, we have to now manage the risk of external transmission, so more people are now travelling.
“Obviously, because other countries are bringing in their own measures in terms of opening up their own countries and society, and so this is now about managing the risk of transmissions being reintroduced from elsewhere. So that is really vital.
“And that is why we are bringing the measures in now. We want to reduce the risk of imported cases being introduced to the UK and to prevent and stop a second wave of this dreadful virus.”
According to Priti Patel: June = now 🤷🏻♀️ https://t.co/Yr6YjfCLAy— Liz Bates (@wizbates) May 22, 2020
The answer to that question, and other free-wheeling responses which include repeated used of the phrase “the fact of the matter is”, left many people baffled.
Priti Patel is answering a question and what is coming out of her mouth is just noise. I honestly, absolutely, sincerely 100 per cent do believe that Congolese IT technician Guy Goma would do a better job at this than she does.— Tom Peck (@tompeck) May 22, 2020
No one in the history of ever has ever said more words with less meaning than Priti Patel— Liam Thorp (@LiamThorpECHO) May 22, 2020
I don’t think Priti Patel has properly answered any of the questions put to her at this press conference, but I can’t really be sure, as for about 50% of the time I’ve genuinely not been able to follow what she’s been saying. Something of a coronavirus word salad going on.— Peter Walker (@peterwalker99) May 22, 2020
Priti Patel’s reply to the question — what happened to exempting travellers from France from the quarantine? — was a blizzard of words in search of coherent sentences.— Andrew Neil (@afneil) May 22, 2020
Do you think anyone in the cabinet can follow what Priti Patel is trying to say?— John Crace (@JohnJCrace) May 22, 2020
This article originally appeared on HuffPost.