Coronavirus: UK govt labelled a 'disgrace' by airport workers denied access to PPE after two colleagues die

The British government is defending its decision not to close airports or implement coronavirus checks for inbound passengers just a day after a second border force worker at Heathrow airport died of COVID-19.

The unnamed employee is just one of more than 12,000 people who have died in the UK so far and airport staff are angry that they are being exposed to unchecked travellers from COVID-19 hotspots without access to PPE gear.

The Public and Commercial Services Union general secretary Mark Serwotka said it was "a disgrace" that not enough PPE equipment was being provided for staff working at airports.

"The government must intervene and ensure our members can go to work fully protected from coronavirus," he said. 

There are no health checks carried out for travellers arriving at British airports and unlike New Zealand, the UK government doesn't require any quarantine period for inbound passengers.

Health secretary Matt Hancock told Piers Morgan there were no checks happening at the border as passenger numbers had dropped to "just 15,000 per day".

"Why are we still having all our airports open to people flying in from coronavirus hot spots like New York, Italy, China walk into their community without any tests?" Morgan asked Hancock on Good Morning Britain.

"This week, 50,000 people have arrived in the country and can walk straight into the community without any tests." 

Hancock answered by saying testing wasn't required as the number of people travelling into the UK had "dropped substantially".

The exchange between Piers Morgan and Health secretary Matt Hancock can be viewed in the video above.