MPs urge ban on overseas holidays.
Simon Calder in the Independent reports that a cross-party group of MPs and peers has urged the government to maintain a ban on international travel in place through the summer.
Non-essential travel abroad has been banned from the start of the year, but the government has indicated that overseas holidays could resume, from England at least, on May 17. Ministers in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have yet to decide on reopening international travel. However, the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Coronavirus has warned of “a deadly third wave and further lockdowns” if the prohibition on going abroad is eased. They are particularly concerned about the introduction of new variants.
The MPs in the APPG say the travel ban should continue with a review every three months, which would effectively rule out holidays until late August at the earliest.
“It is staggering that the government is even contemplating encouraging overseas holidays when airports are already struggling to keep the virus and new variants at bay”Layla Moran MP, who is chair of the group as well as the Liberal Democrats’ foreign affairs spokesperson
The parliamentarians, comprising more than 60 MPs and peers, also say fake Covid test certificates are rife. Lucy Moreton of the Immigration Services Union told a hearing that border staff detects around 100 fake test certificates a day – mainly by spotting spelling errors. There is also concern that passengers arriving back from “green” and “non-green” countries could mix at airports.
Tim Alderslade, chief executive of Airlines UK, called the report “partial and one-sided,” saying it ignored the place of vaccination and cheap, rapid testing in reopening travel and overseas holidays while limiting risk:
“Nobody is saying every country in the world will be opened up from 17 May.” “Where there are genuine concerns around variants, restrictions should remain in place. But to just say we should effectively close the island and kick the travel can down the road for months on end is neither evidence-led nor based on the latest science.”Tim Alderslade, chief executive of Airlines UK
Thanks to Jaime for the link.
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