UK border officials admit they are “not ready” for Ebola as Sierra Leone declares state of emergency

UK border staff are unprepared to deal with people arriving in the UK with Ebola, an immigration service union leader has said.

Immigration Service Union general secretary Lucy Moreton said that workers were “very concerned” about the current guidance and required more information.

The current outbreak in west Africa has killed more than 700 people and a state of emergency was declared this morning in Sierra Leone.

Speaking to the BBC, Moreton said: “Members are very concerned. They serve on the front line; they are the first point of contact usually for people coming off an aircraft and the concern is what do they do if they’re confronted with someone that doesn’t appear well who appears at the border.

“There is no health facility at the border, there is no containment facility, and until extremely recently there has been no guidance issued to staff at all as to what they should do.

“They are phoning us up and asking ‘what are we supposed to do, how do we spot this, how do we protect ourselves?’, and we can’t answer that for them just now.”

New UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said the government is taking the outbreak “very seriously”.

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