Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Science & Tech
  2. Coronavirus
22 May 2020updated 06 Oct 2020 9:45am

Evening summary: More immigration changes ahead for overseas healthcare staff?

By Samuel Horti

Fresh off a U-turn over an NHS surcharge for migrant healthcare workers, the government appears willing to make further reforms to the immigration system. At this afternoon’s press conference, Home Secretary Priti Patel was asked, first, whether the government would consider handing British citizenship to health and social care workers that have come to the UK from abroad, and second, whether the government would offer automatic visa extensions to migrant care workers, cleaners, and porters (current extensions only apply to doctors and nurses).

While Patel did not reveal specific plans, Patel suggested she actively wants to make changes. She is “looking at various schemes”, she said, and wants to “simplify some of these rules”. She would work with the Department of Health to see “what we can do in this particular space”, she added. It’s not a promise, but it is a hint that yesterday’s U-turn was a taste of more to come.

During the briefing, Patel announced that quarantine rules for new arrivals to the UK would come into force on 8 June. Anyone failing to comply faces a £1,000 fine and, ultimately, deportation. If anyone arrives without a named address where they can quarantine, the government will arrange accommodation, but if the new arrival can’t pay, they may be refused entry.

In other news, a wide-ranging review of current evidence suggested children and teenagers are half as likely to catch coronavirus than adults, and Downing Street hinted that London could ease lockdown measures faster than the rest of the country.

Sign up for The New Statesman’s newsletters Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. A handy, three-minute glance at the week ahead in companies, markets, regulation and investment, landing in your inbox every Monday morning. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section and the NS archive, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.

Content from our partners
The shrinking road to net zero
The tree-planting misconception
Is your business ready for corporate climate reporting?