Restrictions on holidays abroad should be maintained to protect the UK from variants of Covid-19, a group of MPs have warned.
The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on the Coronavirus is urging the government to discourage all international pleasure travel, saying if new variants enter the UK it could lead to more lockdowns and ultimately more deaths.
Lib Dem MP Layla Moran, who chairs the group, told BBC Radio 4: “The biggest threat to our recovery is the importation of new variants, especially those that could be more transmissible or escape vaccine immunity. .
“We urge the government to discourage international leisure travel until we see improvement in some key areas. “
She said the first was in the arrival halls, saying the mix of passengers could lead to the creation of “breeding grounds” for the virus at airports. There are also testing, tracing and isolation issues and concerns about fake Covid testing – overall, that makes them “too risky,” she said.
The ban on holidays abroad is expected to be lifted for people in England from May 17 as part of the upcoming easing of coronavirus restrictions.
Alan French, chief executive of the Thomas Cook Travel Group, said there was still work to be done to get things ready. He said May 17 was a great first stop, but it was not the time “every Briton goes on vacation”.
The government says strong border controls are in place to prevent the spread of Covid.