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210330 | G7 Summit: Police chief warns occasion could become Covid-19 'superspreader' event

G7 Summit: Police chief warns occasion could become Covid-19 'superspreader' event

He is concerned that many police officers attending won't be vaccinated when the summit happens

Work continues on the development at the Carbis Bay Hotel complex

Work continues on the development at the Carbis Bay Hotel complex

The National Chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales has warned the upcoming G7 Summit in Cornwall could become a Covid-19 'superspreader' event.

John Apter has raised concerns that thousands of unvaccinated police officers will descend on Carbis Bay for the event, which will be held between June 11-13.

Leaders such as US President Joe Biden, Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel and Prime Minister Boris Johnson will all attend the summit in Cornwall.

But Mr Apter, who has previously campaigned for frontline officers to be prioritised for the Covid vaccine, admitted fears of a spike in cases when officers are in close proximity with locals in the small town.

He told iNews: "I fear G7 could become a superspreader event. Thousands of officers in this small place working closely together to help protect world leaders is creating the ideal conditions for Covid-19 to spread among them. It is for exactly this sort of reason why I have been calling for the Government to put officers on the priority list for vaccinations. We may regret not doing that.

 John Apter, National Chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales (Image: Police Federation)

John Apter, National Chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales (Image: Police Federation)

"We are going to have thousands of officers in a small town in Cornwall in June, which is another thing taking resources away from forces across England and Wales. We don’t have a secret stash of extra officers hidden in a cupboard to for high security events like this. They have to come from many forces. And that’s going to leave some areas even more stretched just as people start getting out into the sunshine and enjoying pubs again."

He added that the event will stretch "already stretched" resources of police officers even further.

Speaking about his campaign to get frontline officers prioritised for the vaccine, Mr Apter last week said he "felt betrayed by the government" after he said "fewer than 20%" of police jab have so far had the jab.

Mr Apter said: "While we all hope we are seeing the beginning of the end of this pandemic, the threat is far from over. This horrible virus continues to claim many lives.

"And yet my colleagues are expected to carry out frontline policing roles, going hands-on with the public, in many cases being spat at, coughed at and bitten by people who claim to carry the virus. Despite this, police officers have not been prioritised for the vaccine.

Carbis Bay, the host of this year's G7 Summit

Carbis Bay, the host of this year's G7 Summit

"We are angry and frustrated at that lack of protection. It feels like a betrayal by the Government.

"Fewer than 20% of officers and police staff have been vaccinated to date.

"At the same time, they are still facing vile individuals who seek to weaponise the virus.

"The risk to police officers, in doing what they are expected to do, is very real. Many have been struck down by this wicked and indiscriminate virus.

"We have lost a number of colleagues, while others are suffering from the effects of long Covid."