Oxford professor on why UK can't replicate NZ's border controls - 'They have quite a lot of sheep'

Source: 1News

A British professor has resorted to the lowest form of humour when telling MPs why the UK's Covid response can't be compared to New Zealand - sheep gags.

Professor Sir John Bell was speaking to the Science and Technology Committee when he was asked by Greg Clark how the UK can defend itself to new variants from outside the country. 

His answer took a tangent when he explained why it's not fair to compare the two nations.

New Zealand is often held up as an island nation, like the UK, who has seen far fewer Covid infections after closing its borders early last year.

The UK has gradually increased restrictions, only recently bringing in hotel isolation for arrivals from some countries. 

"It think there are two things going on, one is, there will be migration of variants in the country and I think, you know, and this is a point I think I just need to remind people of, in case they've never been there," the Oxford professor said. 

"The UK is not New Zealand. So everybody says 'ah, New Zealand, New Zealand, it's all terrific', but as I've pointed out before on the media, they've got quite a lot of sheep in New Zealand, and they are a million miles from anywhere and it's a lot easier if you want to put up border controls for New Zealand than it is here."