The creation of an extra level of travel alert was on the line last night amid a growing conservative revolt and a warning from Rishi Sunak that the industry was facing devastation.
Ministers last week approved proposals to create an ‘orange watch list’ that could plunge the plans of hundreds of thousands of British holidaymakers into turmoil.
Travelers would be warned that destinations – possibly including hot spots such as Spain and Italy – risk being redlisted while they are away, forcing them to self-quarantine when they return to the United States. a hotel selected by the state at enormous expense.
The creation of an additional level of travel alert was on the line last night amid a growing Conservative revolt and a warning from Rishi Sunak (pictured) that the industry was facing devastation
But a Whitehall source told the Mail last night that the idea could be scrapped, adding: “We’ll have to wait and see what the data looks like later this week.
“But it will take a very strong case to create another category at this point. There is a lot of opposition to anything causing more confusion and uncertainty right now.
Yesterday, it emerged that Mr Sunak had written to Boris Johnson warning that the government risks harming the travel industry by imposing more “draconian” measures than its EU rivals. He said UK border policy was “out of step with our international competitors” in a way that threatened to hurt jobs.
Treasury sources played down the split, insisting the chancellor’s letter was written ahead of last week’s decision to lift quarantine restrictions for double-bite tourists from the United States and Europe, who comes into force today.
Ministers last week approved proposals to create an ‘orange watch list’ that could plunge the plans of hundreds of thousands of UK holidaymakers into turmoil (file image)
But senior Conservatives warn against imposing measures that could ruin family vacations and further damage the struggling travel industry.
Former Tory leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith said families should be governed by the quarantine rule in effect when they go on vacation, even if the status of their destination changes during their trip.
He told the Mail: “We can’t disturb families like this.
“If you left on the basis that the country is fine and you have received your two vaccines, you shouldn’t have to isolate yourself when you return.
Survey the prices of test kits
By Az Munrallee for the Daily Mail
Many of the government’s cheapest Covid test kits are not available to holidaymakers, investigating an investigation by the UK advertising watchdog.
Private companies offering testing are listed on the government website, with some being advertised at £ 23. But analysis of the 50 cheapest options found that two-thirds could not be ordered or that appointments for on-site testing were only available next month.
The Advertising Standards Authority is currently investigating the issue following complaints of “inconsistent prices” of mandatory travel kits.
Unvaccinated Orange List holidaymakers from England must be tested before returning to the UK and undergo two PCR tests upon their return from quarantine. Vaccinated travelers need one test before they arrive and another when they return.
Consulting firm Fideres, which carried out the analysis, said consumers should expect to pay around £ 114 for a two-test kit. The cheapest swabs for those returning from an Amber List country were £ 78. Paul Vella of the company said: “The government reports the prices… without actually checking to see if these low prices are available. “
He also told The Guardian that travelers are “misled” and pressured to “use more expensive suppliers”.
The Department of Health said, “We do not endorse or recommend any private Covid-19 test provider. All private providers must meet the minimum standards required. ‘
“I am happy that the Chancellor is getting involved as we need to start thinking about the economic damage we are causing by overly restrictive and constantly changing rules. We need to trust our vaccines and open up, not constantly tinkering around in a way that undermines trust.
Another senior Tory official called an Orange Watchlist “madness”, adding: “It’s a stupid idea that will cause reservations to collapse.” Who, sane, would go on vacation after being warned that he might have to self-quarantine at great expense upon his return? “
Henry Smith, chairman of the Future of Aviation group of MPs, also supported the idea of a ‘fortnight guarantee’ for vacationers, adding: ‘I hope ministers will accept the case that if you travel well faith, you should be allowed to return to the conditions you left.
He said the complex traffic light system, which has five levels of warning, “is preventing people from getting to places arguably safer than many parts of the UK”.
The push to create an Amber Watchlist was driven by concern from health officials about the increase in the beta variant in countries like Spain.
The strain, which emerged in South Africa, is said to be more resistant to the AstraZeneca jab than the Delta variant, which is now dominant in the UK.
Ministers are keen to avoid a repeat of the fiasco in which France was placed on an “orange plus” list last month.
Travelers from France are still required to self-isolate for ten days upon arrival in the UK, although this restriction is expected to be lifted this week.
An amber watchlist would not have its own quarantine restrictions. But travelers would be warned that their destination is about to be on the red list.
If so, they would have a choice between rushing home before the deadline or paying £ 1,750 per head to quarantine themselves in a government-approved hotel upon their return.
The Joint Biosafety Center, which analyzes Covid data, must give ministers its latest assessment of the international threat.
They will then meet on Thursday to decide which countries should fall into each category and whether a new Amber Watchlist is needed.
Travelers would be warned that destinations – possibly including hot spots like Spain and Italy – risk being redlisted while they are away, forcing them to self-quarantine when they return to a state-selected hotel at enormous expense. Pictured: File image of bathers in Barcelona, Spain July 9, 2021
3 days of work from home new normal
The traditional workweek is over, with businesses taking a three-and-two approach – with fewer days in the office.
Having three days at home and two in the office should become the new normal in the wake of the pandemic.
Many large companies have already agreed to the changes, while the Institute of Directors has said two-thirds of business leaders will allow remote working. Roger Barker, director of policy at the institute, said the pandemic had brought about a revolution “greater than what radical reform or regulation could ever have”.
And YouGov has found that only one in five bosses will require all staff to come five days a week after the pandemic.
NatWest expects nearly nine in ten employees to work from home, while Asda said its employees could work from any location suitable for their job.