Holidays: Politics Live panel discuss risks of foreign travel
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BBC Politics Live spoke with Labour MP Sarah Champion and Conservative Laura Farris. Both MPs argued that it would probably be best for Britons not to have international holidays this year due to the fear of coronavirus in other nations. Both MPs later faced a backlash from viewers who argue the majority of UK citizens are vaccinated and should be allowed to travel.
Ms Farris said: “I don’t think foreign holidays are off but I do think that people have to exercise caution and I think most people understand that.
“The coronavirus isn’t unique to this country, it is everywhere.
“We are making good progress with the vaccination programme, other countries are a bit behind us.
“I think people are quite reconciled to the fact that if they are going abroad there is an element of risk there.
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“The safest option I am afraid is a holiday in Bognor in the rain this year.”
The Labour MP agreed with the need to weigh up the risks but argued only a few select individuals should be travelling for holidays.
Ms Champion said: “I think unless you have a lot of money behind you, are retired or own your own business, I personally wouldn’t take the risk of international holidays.
“I feel really frustrated because the people in Portugal now, they did everything right.
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“They thought they were following all of the guidance and then it suddenly gets changed.”
Ms Champion admitted she was well aware of the awkward and peculiar situation the changes to the travel list have put Britons in.
She said: “My neighbour is over there, she has not seen her elderly dad for over a year and now she is stuck there and doesn’t know what to do.
“I think the biggest frustration for me, and we have seen this all the way through, when people have to self isolate, for those that can afford to, it is not that big of an issue.
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“But there are a lot of people in unstable employment at the moment.
“For them, you are just throwing this all back up in the air again.
“You are getting people who are then meant to be self-isolating who maybe can’t afford to without the Government’s support in place.”
Viewers were quick to take to social media to voice their frustration at both MP’s opinions.
One Twitter user wrote: “We lead in the vaccination stakes yet are being kept on our overcrowded and overpriced island.
“This is beyond a joke.”
Another wrote: “Would either of those geniuses care to explain how our airline and airport sectors survive then?”
Another user defended the MPs and said: “People moan if the borders are open and then moan when closed because of Covid concerns.
“About time people make their minds up.”
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