Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water … in London a cross-party parliamentary group has urged the government to introduce stricter checks at airports and to curb international travel to prevent COVID-19 cases – particularly new variants – being imported into the UK.
In a report published this week, the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Coronavirus called on ministers to discourage all but essential overseas travel and introduce stronger protections against COVID-19. It sets out a series of recommendations to “ensure that the hard-won progress in tackling the virus is not lost and mistakes of the past are not repeated.”
Currently, the government plans to reopen international travel on May 17, with a ‘traffic light’ system detailing which countries are safe to visit.
However, the Immigration Services Union has warned that long queues at airports posed a “significant risk” to border staff and travellers. Moreover, border staff were spotting around 100 fake COVID-19 test certificates a day under a system predominantly based on trust.
The APPG report calls on the government to maintain curbs on international leisure travel beyond May 17, to prevent new variants entering the UK and reduce the risk of a deadly third wave and further lockdowns.
But, perversely, in the same week Air India resumed flights from the sub-continent to the UK, warning its passengers that it is their “sole responsibility” to ensure that they are eligible to enter the destination country.
It seems that some of these attempts at getting back to normal are not very well thought out.