COVID-19: EU plans to welcome tourists next month – as UK government has said to ‘discourage’ holidays abroad

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COVID-19: EU plans to welcome tourists next month – as UK government has said to ‘discourage’ holidays abroad


The EU plans to open up to foreign tourists this summer – including Britons – but some MPs want restrictions on overseas travel to be maintained due to the risk of COVID-19 variants.

Bloc executive recommended easing coronavirus travel restrictions next month to allow foreign travelers from more countries to enter to boost the struggling tourism industry.

Only people from seven countries can currently vacation in the European Union, including Australia and Singapore, if they test negative for COVID and are quarantined.

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Many Britons want to go on holiday abroad, but the chances are uncertain

On Monday, new proposals published by the European Commission – which must be approved by the 27 EU member states – would let in fully vaccinated foreign nationals and nationals of countries with a “good epidemiological situation”.

Travelers from Britain, Russia and several other countries would meet the new criteria, according to data provided by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

It comes as an all-party group of UK MPs warned that limits on international leisure travel are expected to continue even after May 17.

The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on the coronavirus has told the government to “discourage all international leisure travel” this year to protect the UK from COVID-19[feminine[feminine variants.

The ban on overseas holidays is set to end for England from May 17 as part of the government’s roadmap to come out of the lockout.

But Lib Dem MP Layla Moran, chairman of the group, told Sky News: “We wouldn’t want to have, for a summer vacation, turn back the clock and have a new wave and another lockdown. “

She warned that re-authorizing international travel could “sabotage our progress at the very last minute.”

“Let’s be very careful and rather than encouraging people to leave, we think the government should discourage people from taking their vacation this year,” she added.

“The government should be the one telling people maybe not this year, wait a few more months, and then when we have enough people vaccinated, not just here but around the world, we’ll get back to normal.

“It might not be this summer. “

The group said it had identified a number of issues that the resumption of international travel would raise, including airport arrival halls being a “breeding ground for infection” and the importation of variants that could result. “Further lockdowns and inevitably more loss of life.” .

He recommended that passengers returning from green, orange and red countries under the new risk-based system should not be allowed to mix.

Their documents should be checked before entering an arrival hall so that those taken to quarantine facilities can be moved “quickly”.

Boris Johnson has said he does not want to see an “influx of disease” once international travel begins again, stressing that the government is “as careful as possible” with its roadmap.

Asked whether people should plan a vacation abroad in the coming weeks and months, the prime minister said: “We will say more as soon as possible.

“I think there will be openings on the 17th, but we have to be careful and we have to be sane and we have to make sure that we don’t see the virus coming back. “

Mr Johnson, who was speaking on a campaign visit to Hartlepool, also said there was a ‘good chance’ of the one meter plus social distancing rule. can be scrapped from June 21.

Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer said the UK needs to be “very careful” about international travel.

“I think it’s clear that the virus is on the rise in some countries around the world, so we have to be very, very careful,” he said on a campaign visit to Lewisham in south-east London .

“What we can’t have is a repeat of last summer, where the lists were hashed and changed daily or even weekly.

“So I’ll wait and see what the government has to say, but I think we have to be very careful and very careful. “

The MEPs report comes just days after the original deadline to classify countries under a new traffic light system for international travel was missed.

A report released last week by the Commons Transportation Selection Committee said destination lists should be published by Saturday May 1 “at the latest,” but This does not happen.

The Transport Department said the lists would be made public “in early May”.

Paul Charles, managing director of travel consultancy The PC Agency, said that “the best financial support the government can now offer to the travel industry is to open up overseas travel as planned from May 17th. “.

He continued, “Not only can this be done safely through widespread testing, but it would also unlock much-needed income for business and leisure travelers wanting to see a family they don’t have. seen for a year.

“Better digital technology would certainly make it easier to travel across our borders and I urge the government to invest more quickly in this area to avoid queues at airports in the future. “

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A government spokesperson said: “We have introduced strong border controls to stop the coronavirus variants in their tracks and every essential control we have introduced for arrivals has strengthened our defenses against new mutations.

“As the UK unblocks nationally and many UK families are scattered all over the place, we understand that people may need to travel overseas for all kinds of reasons.

“But we can only allow it if it is done safely, which is why the Global Travel Taskforce produced the traffic light system allowing us to manage the risk of imported cases by varying the restrictions according to the risk. of travel from a specific location.

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