‘Irresponsible!’ Holidaymakers going abroad amid COVID-19 crisis are selfish – poll finds

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People living in England have been given the green-light to travel abroad this summer after the Government created so-called air bridges with 59 other countries, meaning travellers do not have to quarantine. The debate as to whether it is right for people to travel around the world was sparked on BBC’s Sunday Morning Live, when co-host Sally Phillips asked travel expert Simon Calder, if travelling during the pandemic could be considered as selfish.

Mr Calder insisted the decision was down to the individual and said “the tourism industry is force for good”.

A subsequent poll of more than 3,000 readers has found eight out of ten readers think holidaymakers are selfish if they go abroad.

The survey conducted on Sunday July 5 between 1.12pm and 9pm, asked 3,400 readers “Is going abroad this summer selfish?”

The vast majority, 79 percent (2,593) of readers thought people were selfish and voted yes.

Just 20 percent (748) did not agree and voted no.

Meanwhile just one percent (59) remained unsure and voted don’t know.

A number of readers let their feeling known and were firmly against the idea of travelling abroad – with one even insisting holidays in the UK should be banned.

One user said: “Yes it is very selfish we are about to charge up our economy the weather is going to improve so why go abroad? There are some brilliant places in the UK.

“I hope these people do not think that our Government should bring them back if they are stranded. They should all be made to take a test when they arrive back it is a disgrace and very irresponsible.”

A second reader said: “It is utterly selfish to go on holiday anywhere, even in the UK. People behave differently on holiday.”

A third commented: “Be comfortable stay at home, if airports close and flights are cancelled then the taxpayer has to pick up the tab to get them back, like last time.”

A fourth added: “Honestly, if the Brits don’t mind playing Russian roulette getting covid on foreign hols to places like Spain, good luck to them.”

Britons will be allowed to travel to 59 countries including France, Germany, Italy and Spain from July 10.

Long-haul destinations including Australia, Barbados, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand and Vietnam are also permitted without restrictions.

Countries such as China, the US, Sweden and Portugal all remain at risk and mean quarantine measures will still apply.

Crucially, the UK Government has stated global travel is not “risk-free” and passengers will be required to provide contact information on arrival in England.


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The Department for Transport announced the travel plans on Friday but was unable to convince the devolved administrations to come on board – including Scotland.

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon acknowledged there are “obvious practical reasons” for alignment on the issue and criticised the Westminster Government’s “shambolic” decision-making.

She said: “When so much is at stake as it is right now, we can’t allow ourselves to be dragged along in the wake of, to be quite frank about it, another government’s shambolic decision-making process.”

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