A Tory MP has said on Friday that Brits who travel to an amber list country for a “jolly” when they are not allowed “are going to be fined” when they return back to the UK.
By this weekend up to 270,000 Brits have booked holidays and flights to amber list countries and the government has repeatedly said this week no one is allowed to do so, but only in “extreme circumstances.”
According to the Telegraph, over 1,300 flights were scheduled to go to amber countries in the five days from Wednesday to Sunday.
This equates to 54,000 passengers per day, with destinations including Spain, Greece, Italy and France which are on the UK government’s amber list.
Conservative MP, Dehenna Davison told BBC Radio 5, “There are definitely checks going on and people who are found to be lying or people who are travelling just for a jolly when they shouldn’t be are going to be fined.
“Because you know it is easy to ask all of these questions, people want to find loopholes to be able to travel.
“I know I’m desperate for a holiday like the next person.
“But we are still living in this age of global pandemic.”
She added, “It is about public safety it is about keeping us safe.
“In the UK we are very lucky we have got a very strong vaccinated programme.
“We are head and shoulders above many of our neighbouring countries and others around the world.
“Which is fantastic for us but what we don’t want is people to then be travelling to other countries where countries is still much more a concern and bring back more cases.”
The editor of Which? Travel magazine Rory Boland warned, “The reopening of international travel is at risk of descending into farce with the government and companies issuing contradictory advice about where travellers can take a holiday.
“The government is telling people not to travel to amber list destinations but with many holiday firms selling trips to those countries regardless, people will assume they can.
“Those who feel they cannot go on holiday against government advice, including those with bookings from last year, are also likely to struggle to get their money back, with most travel companies refusing refunds unless the holiday is cancelled.”
The Health Secretary Matt Hancock hit out at Brits who are still travelling to amber list countries and defended the government’s position by not banning travel to amber list destinations.
Hancock said on Thursday, “There are some things that we have banned in law but there are some things we do not recommend.
“You don’t necessarily have to ban everything as a government Minister.”
Hancock said the government’s messaging has been quite clear and told the press briefing, “If you look at what the PM said last week, what I said at the weekend, what I said in the House on Monday, what the PM said at lunch today, we’ve been absolutely crystal clear that you should not go to an amber or red list country on holiday.
“You should only go for exceptional circumstances. An example might be to visit a very ill family member or to go to a funeral of somebody very close to you.”
The Health Secretary added, “If you go to an amber list country if you come back you have to go through the testing regime.
“You have to quarantine and I can tell you that we have in the last week done 30,000 home visits to check that people are quarantining.”