Pro-Lockdown MPs Tell Government to Discourage Holidays Abroad After May 17th

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Coronavirus (APPG) – a zealously pro-lockdown group of opposition MPs – has urged the Government to discourage holidays abroad even when they’re legal so as to keep Covid variants out of the U.K. and prevent a third wave of infections. The Group said that, if implemented, this approach should only be reviewed every three months. The Guardian has the story.

Holidays abroad should be discouraged even once legal, a cross-party group of MPs have said as part of a suite of recommendations to prevent a third wave of coronavirus and further lockdowns.

Under the U.K. Government’s roadmap to relax coronavirus restrictions, international travel for leisure purposes could resume from May 17th.

Ministers have confirmed that a traffic light system is to be put in place in which countries will be added to green, amber and red lists, with different rules regarding issues such as quarantine of returning travellers for each list…

But on Monday the APPG issued a report recommending that holidays abroad should be discouraged in light of experts’ concerns about international travel.

“The U.K. Government should discourage all international leisure travel to prevent the importation of new variants into the U.K., in order to reduce the risk of a third wave and further lockdowns,” the report states, adding that financial support must be given to the travel industry. “This recommendation should be implemented immediately and reviewed on a quarterly basis.”

The SNP MP Dr Philippa Whitford, the Group’s Vice-Chair, said: “Our cross-party inquiry has heard how the U.K.’s border management is acting more like a sieve than a shield in the fight against coronavirus. Ministers must act on these recommendations and learn from the mistakes made last year, when the premature reopening of international travel contributed to a second wave. With the threat of importing dangerous new Covid variants, we must not throw away recent hard-won progress made through the sacrifices and efforts of the public.”

Worth reading in full.

Stop Press: Even if holidaymakers are allowed to travel abroad from May 17th, only a “tiny handful” of countries are expected to be included on the “green list”. Travellers to countries in this category will not have to quarantine upon their return to the U.K. but will have to pay for PCR tests. The Telegraph has the story.

The “green” list for quarantine-free travel, to be unveiled on Thursday or Friday, is expected to be limited to a “tiny handful” of countries including Gibraltar, Israel, Iceland and Malta. Most European nations will be on the “amber” list requiring 10-day home quarantine on arrival back in the U.K..

Amber-rated countries are expected to include Spain, Greece, France and Italy, as well as their islands. Portugal is the only big European holiday destination with a chance of making the green list from May 17th.

Also worth reading in full.

Stop Press: Boris Johnson poured cold water this morning on hopes of an extensive green list being announced shortly. “We do want to do some opening up on May 17th but I don’t think that the people of this country want to see an influx of disease from anywhere else,” he told reporters on an early morning visit to Hartlepool where a by-election is taking place on Thursday. “I certainly don’t and we have got to be very, very tough, and we have got to be as cautious as we can, whilst we continue to open up.”

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