UK government urged to fix ‘chaotic scenes’ at airports.
MPs have called on the Government to halt “chaotic scenes” at airports and take firmer action to prevent new coronavirus variants from entering the country.
The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Coronavirus issued the plea ahead of the planned next review of the green, amber and red travel lists, an announcement is expected to be made Thursday, August 5.
The group expressed serious concerns that people returning to the UK from red list locations by connecting flights are still allowed to mix with other arrivals at airports, sometimes standing in queues for hours and at close proximity to each other.
Research commissioned by the group found that only 13% of positive tests from red list passengers were checked for variants in the three weeks to June 30, falling to 3% for travellers from amber destinations.
“The Government’s border policy is leading to chaotic scenes at UK airports and leaving the country dangerously exposed to new variants. The surge in the Delta variant was a direct result of the failure to secure our borders, yet ministers are still repeating the same mistakes. Urgent action is needed to prevent an even more dangerous variant taking root in the UK, including sequencing positive tests and separating all red list arrivals,” said Caroline Lucas, vice-chair of the APPG.
Passengers arriving in the UK from amber destinations are required to self-isolate at home for 10 days- those who are fully vaccinated are exempt.
All travellers entering from green list locations do not have to self-isolate, while those returning from a red list country are required to enter a quarantine hotel.
“I know how important holidays are to people. People think about them, they save up for them, people yearn to go abroad this year – I totally get that. We’ve got to balance that against the need to protect our country against the influx of new variants.
“We’ve got a balanced policy but clearly we have the benefit now of the double-jab system that is enabling us to … come from the countries in the EU, without having to quarantine, and the same goes for the US,” said Prime Minister Boris Johnson to reporters during a visit to Scotland.
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