United Kingdom must be 'realistic' about restart of foreign holidays, Boris Johnson says

07 Avril, 2021, 00:53 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson

While confirming that restaurants, pubs and shops will reopen next week, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said it's not yet clear that non-essential worldwide travel can resume safely as planned on May 17.

The prime minister also responded to a call from the boss of easyJet to allow people to use lateral flow tests - rather than more expensive PCR tests - as part of border requirements when returning from overseas.

The prime minister said new waves of coronavirus in popular holiday destinations means "we can't [restart worldwide travel] immediately, but that doesn't mean that we've given up on May 17".

"But I do not wish to give hostages to fortune or to underestimate the difficulties we're seeing in some of the destination countries people might want to go to", Johnson said.

The document confirmed Bloomberg's earlier reports of a possible delay to the planned reopening of worldwide travel on May 17, given the worsening pandemic situation in Europe, and a new "traffic light" system coming into force to code countries based on virus risk.

Arrivals in the United Kingdom from green countries won't need to isolate, but will have to take tests before departing and after arriving.

Johnson said: "I raised that very issue myself yesterday".

"Other than for "red" countries, we do not believe quarantine is the answer for controlling the spread of the virus". "We're going to see what we can do to make things as flexible and as affordable as possible". We'll be saying as much as we can, as soon as we can, about worldwide travel. "We still don't know how strong the vaccine shield will be when cases begin to rise, as I'm afraid that they will".

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He told Sky News of the of planned traffic light system: "If you are categorised as a "green country". there should be no restrictions at all really because what I'm afraid about is that if the government are now adding cost complexity, even if you are in the "green" bucket, that's going to make it out of reach for many families if you look at what the cost would be. But we just have to be prudent at this stage".

It says all adults and children in England will be encouraged to have routine coronavirus tests twice a week as a way to stamp out new outbreaks.

Requiring holidaymakers returning from low-risk countries to pay for two coronavirus tests will only reopen worldwide travel "for people who can afford it", the boss of easyJet has warned.

Speaking to BBC Breakfast, he said: "I don't think that is fair, I don't think it's right, and I don't think it is necessarily established from a medical and scientific point of view that it is the right thing to do".

"If they choose, however, to go down that route to have the tests in place, it should be the same type of testing, the lateral flow testing, which is much cheaper, more accessible, that is being used to open up the domestic sector as an example".

He now wants to enable worldwide travel to resume without setting back efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19 in Britain. He confirmed that the government will test out a contentious "vaccine passport" system - a way for people to offer proof they have protection from COVID-19 - as a tool to help travel and large events return safely.

The government also is testing a system of "COVID-status certification" - often dubbed "vaccine passports" - that would allow people seeking to travel or attend events to show they either have received a coronavirus vaccine, tested negative for the virus, or recently had COVID-19 and therefore have some immunity.

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