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Covid-19

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:38 pm on 17th March 2020.

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Photo of Dominic Raab Dominic Raab The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs 12:38 pm, 17th March 2020

I thank the right hon. Lady for her response, at least in relation to recognising the scale of the challenge. She asked a number of questions, and I will give her as much of a substantive response as I can. She asked what essential and non-essential travel means. Ultimately, the Foreign Office gives travel advice, but the decision on whether to travel remains an individual one. Travellers may have urgent or particularly exceptional business—family, commercial or otherwise—and circumstances may differ, but what we are doing is strongly advising against global travel. That is, in part, a reflection of the domestic measures that were announced yesterday around social distancing. We also want to limit the number of people, particularly vulnerable people, who find themselves in the plight of not being able to get home because of some of the issues that she has raised.

The right hon. Lady mentioned the team in the Philippines—