PM urged to dump travel rules to save summer hols – by his own chancellor


Rishi Sunak – tipped by some as a future leader of the Tory party – has reportedly written to the Prime Minister pointing out the worrying impact for the economy and tourism through having tougher travel restrictions

Rishi Sunak is reported to have written to Boris Johnson seeking to ease travel restrictions to the UK
Rishi Sunak is said to have written to Boris Johnson seeking to ease travel restrictions to the UK

Rishi Sunak has reportedly written to Boris Johnson calling for restrictions to be eased for people returning from abroad and for the country to put its trust in the vaccines.

Holidaymakers face uncertainty while stricter measures are also having an impact generally on the economy is the message from the chancellor with ministers to meet on Thursday to discuss travel rules for August, according to the Sunday Times.

It comes with claims that the UK has got tougher measures in place than other European countries and that jobs are being affected.

A source has told the newspaper that the letter to the Prime Minister will tell him that it is time to ease back the restrictions and points specifically to City firms having a disadvantage when competing with European competitors for trade with the US.

It comes with many UK tourists unsure whether to risk going abroad this summer in case the rules may change and they will suddenly have to undergo self-isolation as was the case recently with France.








Many Brits are uncertain whether to travel abroad in case restrictions may change
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Image:

PA)



The new amber plus listing was given to France due to a worrying rise of a variant and it has been rumoured that Spain could also be put into this category.

At the same time it is expected that up to 12 countries could be put on the green list for travel.

But the government is reported to be considering a new category of an amber watchlist for countries that could have stricter controls imposed with Spain and Greece feared to be in this group.

Information from the Joint Biosecurity Centre ( JBC) on the risks involved will be made available to ministers earlier in the week but at this stage both Sunak and Johnson are pushing for holidays to go ahead.

A senior government source told Sunday The Times: “Rishi and the PM are concerned that we’ve got the benefit from vaccinating so many people and yet we are an outlier in terms of how draconian we are about travel.”

Ministers are also believed to be considering whether the Delta variant should be still called a “variant of concern” as it is the dominant strain and a change description would remove some countries from tighter controls.








Boris Johnson will hold a meeting on Thursday with ministers to discuss restrictions for August
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Image:

POOL/AFP via Getty Images)



Downing Street sources have pointed to the decision to open up travel to those who are fully vaccinated coming from the US and European Union as an example of Johnson’s own desire to see more open borders in Britain.

Sunak’s push for travel restrictions to be softened comes only days after scientists advising the government on coronavirus warned, in papers published on Friday, that any increase in foreign travel this summer is concerning.

The daily average of coronavirus-related deaths, those dying within 28 days of a positive test, has increased by 9 percent over the past week, with hospital admissions up by almost a fifth.

Government data showed a further 71 people died as of Saturday, bringing the UK total to 129,654, and a further 26,144 lab-confirmed cases were also recorded.



With more than 900 people reported to have been admitted to hospital on Saturday, meaning 5,900 Covid patients are currently being treated in wards, fresh incentives are being rolled out to entice young people into getting vaccinated.

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said around 67 percent of people aged 18 to 29 in England have received a first dose, and it is hoping to boost those figures with offers of vouchers and discounts for popular takeaways and taxi for those who get a jab.

Uber, Bolt, Deliveroo and Pizza Pilgrims are among the brands who will be offering incentives to encourage youngsters to get inoculated.

Taxi app firm Uber will be sending reminders to all users in August encouraging them to get jabbed, DHSC said.

The company will offer discounted Uber rides and meals on its Uber Eats platform for young adults who receive a vaccine.



Bolt, another ride-hailing app, will offer “free ride credit” to vaccination centres following a similar scheme earlier this year when it offered £250,000 worth of free rides to London vaccination facilities.

Deliveroo is planning to give vouchers to young people who get jabbed.

The DHSC said further details on partnerships will be released “in due course” and other incentives “could include vouchers or discount codes”, along with competitions and promotional offers for restaurants.









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