The Home Secretary has called out influencers and skiers over non-essential travel abroad, as she set out new restrictions on Britain’s borders.
Priti Patel said people ‘should simply not be travelling’ as she detailed new quarantine hotel rules to the House of Commons and condemned what she described as ‘showing off’.
The Government has been widely condemned for taking nearly a year to bring in harsh restrictions at the UK’s borders to stop coronavirus – and particularly newer variants – coming into the country from abroad. Last week a recording appeared to show Ms Patel saying she had called for the borders to be closed entirely in March 2020.
Setting out the Government’s plan to crack down on travel in and out of the country ten months later, Ms Patel said: ‘Even at St Pancras (railway station), people have been turning up with their skis, that is clearly not acceptable.
‘We see plenty of influencers on social media showing off about which parts of the world that they are in, mainly in sunny parts of the world.
‘Going on holiday is not an exemption.’
There has been uproar in recent weeks about Instagram influencers posting shots of themselves on holiday, notably in Dubai, to followers stuck in lockdowns. Influencers have attempted to justify the ‘work’ trips for a variety of reasons.
It comes as Boris Johnson confirmed that travellers would have to self-isolate for 10 days in Government-provided accommodation if they come from ‘red list’ countries.
The UK introduced blanket quarantine restrictions in June, except for in ‘travel corridors’, but some experts believe many the self-isolation restrictions were not harsh enough.
Now the Government has said that arrivals from some 30 high-risk countries will have to pay to quarantine in hotels at their own expense.
Labour says the move does not go far enough because of the danger of unknown variants from other countries entering the UK.
Stressing that the current national lockdown outlaws foreign holidays, Ms Patel added: ‘It is clear that there are still too many people coming in and out of our country each day.
‘Going on holiday is not a valid reason (to leave your home), so we will introduce a new requirement so that people wishing to travel must first make a declaration as to why they need to travel.
‘This reason for travel will be checked by carriers prior to departure and this approach effectively mirrors the checks on arrivals that are already in place with the passenger locator form.’
She did not confirm how long the measures would be in place but said ‘things change’ and the measures will be kept ‘under review’.
The Home Secretary also confirmed that the rules would apply to asylum seekers.
It comes weeks after people being housed at Napiers Barracks demonstrated at a lack of social distancing at the site, before a recent ‘major outbreak’ of Covid-19 at the site.
Ms Patel told MPs ‘Covid-compliant measures’ are in place already at the site and added: ‘We are going to enhance our measures now even further to prevent the spread of coronavirus and to protect public health.’
Passengers arriving from the 30 destinations – which include all of South America, Portugal and a number of other countries – will be met at the airport and transported directly into quarantine.
Travel operators are expected to face fines if they fail to inspect forms that passengers have to fill in.
Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at [email protected]
For more stories like this, check our news page.
Source: Read Full Article