Theresa May says ‘incomprehensible’ travel rules are keeping Britain ‘shut for business’

Louise Minchin quizzes Jenrick on lifting of lockdown

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The former Prime Minister hit out at the Government’s coronavirus travel guidance during a debate on the aviation industry in the House of Commons on Thursday. She said if travel was banned every time the UK finds a new strain of concern, “we will never be able to travel abroad ever again”.

Mrs May recalled promises from ministers last year suggesting they were “working hard” to ensure international travel could be resumed safely.

She added: “One year on we are no further forward, indeed what we have is a devastated industry, jobs lost and global Britain shut for business.

“More than not being any further forward, we’ve gone backwards.

“We now have over 50 percent of the adult population vaccinated – a wonderful programme – yet we’re more restricted on travel than we were last year.

“In 2020, I went to Switzerland in August, South Korea in September; there was no vaccine and travel was possible – this year there is a vaccine, travel is not possible.”

She added she did not understand the standpoint the Government is assuming.

Earlier this week, Environment Secretary George Eustice advised Brits to “holiday at home” as ministers backed travel restrictions currently in place.

He said the UK’s holiday destinations might be “very, very busy” due to decreasing hopes of international getaways being allowed.

Mr Eustice said: “I will be staying at home. I have no intention of travelling or going on a holiday abroad this summer.

“Some people may, but they have to understand that there are obviously risks in doing so because it is a dynamic situation.

“I think most people will probably decide this year to stay at home, holiday at home.

“We’ve got some fabulous places to visit in this part of the country, not least of course Cornwall, where there will be a very, very busy summer I’m sure.”

Thousands of British tourists scrambled back to the UK from Portugal over the weekend after the Government announced last week the country would be placed on the amber list from Tuesday morning.

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