COVID-19: Government says to ‘discourage’ holidays abroad this year to protect UK from coronavirus variants

COVID-19: Government says to ‘discourage’ holidays abroad this year to protect UK from coronavirus variants

Limits on international leisure travel are expected to continue even after May 17, a multi-party group of lawmakers warned.

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”.

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 allow smoother travel across our borders and I urge the government to invest more quickly in this area to avoid queues at the airport in the future. “

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.

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“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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