Travel Ban

Thousands of Foreign Tourists Let in Every Day as Britons Are Ordered Not to Travel

While the rules on travelling abroad have recently been made even tougher for Brits, thousands of foreign tourists are arriving in the country every day. Hundreds of these are arriving on tourist visas issued by the Home Office. The Times has more.

One visa was granted to a tourist from Peru who said on their application form that the reason for their trip to the UK was to “visit Big Ben”.

Of the roughly 20,000 people arriving every day about 40%, or 8,000, are tourists, according to figures compiled by Border Force staff.

At Gatwick and the Eurostar terminals, as many as 80 to 90% of arrivals are tourists. In contrast, the proportion of tourists among arrivals at Heathrow is estimated to be about 20 to 30%.

New Covid rules which came into force at the end of last month make it illegal for Brits to go to an airport without a “reasonable” excuse. Rule breakers face fines of £5,000. Lucy Moreton, of the Immigration Services Union, has said that the arrival of thousands of tourists into Britain each day, set alongside this ban on Brits holidaying abroad, is “deeply unfair”.

It causes immense distress to Border Force staff to be constantly granting entry to individuals for reasons that would be impermissible for a UK resident. It’s deeply unfair for staff who cannot visit their own family in the UK or abroad who will be fined for doing so from this week to be seeing these numbers of arrivals of people coming to visit family in the UK, let alone go on holiday in the UK.

Worth reading in full.

40 MPs Call on Boris to Ease Travel Restrictions

Forty Conservative MPs have written to Boris Johnson urging him to ease travel curbs and bring back foreign holidays as pressure grows to lift the lockdown ahead of schedule as cases, hospitalisations and deaths plummet. The Mail has more.

Boris Johnson faced calls to lift lockdown faster last night as Covid infections, hospital cases and deaths hit a six-month low.

Four NHS regions – covering 29million [sic] people across southern England – reported no deaths on Sunday. Just 23 fatalities were logged elsewhere.

The average daily death toll is now 63 – 95 per cent below January’s peak. It stands at the same level as late last June – shortly before the ban on indoor socialising ended following the first national lockdown.

However, customers must still wait a minimum of seven weeks before pubs, restaurants and hotels can fully reopen. Foreign holidays are also banned until at least May 17.

It came as forty MPs, including former Cabinet minister Karen Bradley, sent the Prime Minister a letter urging him to avoid delaying the ban on travel.

The group of cross-party MPs warned that the country would not fully recover without a thriving tourism, travel and aviation industry and told the PM that foreign holidays were essential for the country’s economic rebound.

They stressed that it was ‘paramount that the restart of international travel provides the opportunity for businesses in the aviation, travel and tourism industries to begin their long journey back to recovery’.

Worth reading in full.