Coronavirus spread across the world with the help of air travel, a new report has shown.
Though the UK introduced 14-days mandatory quarantine this week, it may not provide solace to anyone who had previously called for such measures.
A study by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) says the flow of air passengers across and within country borders had been “a major contributor to the spread of the virus.”
And it named the UK as an example of where a large number of domestic and international flights “facilitated contagion of Covid-19.”
Serge Stroobants, an IEP director, said: “The countries most impacted are countries that are really participating in global trade in the globalised world and the interconnected world.
“These are countries in which you will find a large airport hub, giving the potential to people to travel from one country to the other.
“That’s why, for example, the region of Milan in Italy, Paris, Brussels, Frankfurt, London and New York, those big international hubs created more exchanges and more potential for the virus to grow.”
The Government’s policies on air travel have faced major criticism during the pandemic.
International arrivals have only been forced to enter a 14-day quarantine since Monday.
And the Government previously resisted calls to restrict flights from high-risk countries.
At the time, officials insisted there was no evidence that closing borders would be an effective measure.
On March 6, just one day after the first death in the UK as a result of coronavirus, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the government wasn’t considering limiting flights.
On BBC Question Time, he said: “If this virus becomes established around the world, there is no way in stopping it from getting to Britain eventually.
“Do you try to shut ourselves off as a nation and delay it, and if it does go pandemic in the rest of the world it is inevitable that it would come here?
“Or do you try to keep as much normal life as possible and tackle it by finding those who do come in to the country?”