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Boris urged to ‘discourage people from taking their holiday this year’ to prevent new variants entering UK

4th May 21 10:43 am

The Prime Minister is being urged to keep foreign travel restrictions in place to prevent new variants entering the UK by some MPs.

The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on coronavirus have warned that airports are a “breeding ground for infection” which could lead to “further lockdowns” if new variants enter the UK.

Under Boris Johnson’s roadmap out of lockdown international travel to some countries will commence on 17 May.

Europe are discussing to ease restrictions to allow foreign travellers to have holidays to reopen the tourism industry.

Lib Dem MP Layla Moran, chair of the APPG, told Sky News, “We wouldn’t want to have for the sake of one summer holiday us go backwards and have a further wave and a further lockdown.”

Moran said that by allowing international travel to resume could “scupper our progress at the very last minute.”

The Lib Dem MP added, “Let’s be really cautious and rather than encouraging people to be going away, our view is that the government should be discouraging people from taking their holiday this year.

“The government should be the ones telling people maybe not this year, just wait a few more precious months and then when we’ve got enough people vaccinated, not just here but around the world, we will get back to normal.

“It just might not be this summer.”

The APPG said that they have identified a number of issues over international travel will raise and warned that airport arrival halls being are a “breeding ground for infection.”

The group added that the importation of variants which could lead to “further lockdowns and inevitably further loss of life.”

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said the UK has to be “very careful” with regards to foreign travel.

Sir Keir said, “I think it’s clear that the virus is increasing in some countries around the world, so we have to be very, very careful.

“What we can’t have is a repeat of last summer, where the lists were chopping and changing on a daily or even weekly basis.

“So I’ll wait and see what the government has to say but I think we have to be very careful and very cautious.”

A government spokesperson said, “We introduced robust border controls to stop coronavirus variants in their tracks and every essential check we’ve introduced for arrivals has strengthened our defences against new mutations.

“As the UK unlocks domestically and with many British families spread far and wide, we understand that people may need to travel abroad for all sorts of reasons.

“But we can only permit it if it is done safely, which is why the Global Travel Taskforce has produced the traffic light system allowing us to manage the risk from imported cases by varying restrictions depending on the risk of travel from a specific location.”

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