ENTERTAINMENT

The government accuses Nicola Sturgeon of quarantine chaos


Secretary of Transport Grant Shapps suggested today that Nicola Sturgeon was responsible for delays in publishing which countries are exempted from travel restrictions on corona virus quarantine.

The UK government should release a list of countries on Monday that are no longer subject to the 14-day self-isolation rules.

However, publication has been repeatedly pushed back, leading to vacation chaos and increasing anger in the struggling aviation and tourism industries.

Mr Shapps said today that the Scottish government's opposition was the reason why details are not yet available.

Ms. Sturgeon, the first Scottish minister, has criticized Downing Street for not appearing to have consulted her about the plans, and on Monday said she wanted to "take a little time to assess the public health implications" What has been suggested in the light of fears to eradicate the fears Quarantine can lead to an increase in infections.

In response to the SNP's transport spokesman, Gavin Newlands, in the House of Commons, Mr. Shapps said this morning, "I would tell the Lord I would appreciate his help to make sure that airlifts are underway as soon as possible and report to the House can refund.

"I am very keen to get decentralized administrations, including the Scottish government, on board so we can announce this."

Meanwhile, angry bosses from the travel industry are demanding responses from the ministers after alleging that the originally proposed airlift plans were effectively rejected.

The government is expected to publish a list of more than 75 quarantined countries upon arrival in the UK, including major vacation destinations in Europe, Turkey, New Zealand and the Caribbean.

Efforts to complete mutual "airlift" deals to ensure that British holidaymakers are not restricted on arrival in another country appear to have failed.

This means that in many cases, the British are still forced to isolate themselves on arrival when traveling abroad, with Greece being one of the countries that enforce the rule.

Ministers have announced that a general ban on all non-essential international travel will be relaxed as of July 6.

Pictured: Passengers queue up to check in for flights at Stansted London, UK on July 1, 2020. The British government will announce that the British can travel to 95 countries, but only a handful actually allow people arriving from the UK

George Morgan-Grenville, managing director of luxury tour operator Red Savannah, called Boris Johnson's blanket quarantine policy a "catastrophe" today.

George Morgan-Grenville, managing director of luxury tour operator Red Savannah, called Boris Johnson's blanket quarantine policy a "catastrophe" today.

George Morgan-Grenville, managing director of luxury tour operator Red Savannah, called Boris Johnson's blanket quarantine policy a "catastrophe" today.

What are the current vacation rules, why have changes been delayed and who is to blame?

What are the current rules?

People arriving in the UK – including returning Britons – currently have to isolate themselves for a fortnight.

What changes?

The UK government is expected to release a list of more than 75 countries that are exempt from the restrictions.

Which countries are involved?

Major holiday destinations in Europe, Turkey, New Zealand and the Caribbean are expected. The United States may not be due to high infection rates.

Shouldn't that have already been announced?

Airlifts have long been advertised by ministers. Before the quarantine directive was first reviewed on June 29, a list of targets had been promised. However, the publication was postponed until Monday, then Wednesday and now Friday.

Why was there a delay?

The government has always insisted that no date for policy announcement be set. The resistance to Nicola Sturgeon's easing of the quarantine was blamed for the slow introduction.

When do changes take effect?

Last week it was announced to ease the measures for people returning from "safe" countries as of July 6th.

The proposals look increasingly shambolic as the government's announcement is repeatedly delayed, although airlines and tour operators warn that they are on the brink of disaster.

The ministers initially promised to publish a list of airlifts ahead of the deadline for reviewing the blanket quarantine policy on June 29.

But that was postponed from Monday to Wednesday before being moved back to today. Sources said the government now hopes to make an announcement tomorrow.

Ministers agreed last week on a new traffic light system to pave the way for the creation of "travel corridors" that allow tourists to visit certain "green" countries that are considered safe without being quarantined at both ends become.

But Ms. Sturgeon suggested this week that the Scottish government could boycott the system, which means it would not apply at airports like Glasgow and Edinburgh.

This is believed to have undermined negotiations with other UK-based countries.

A promised airlift to Greece is already in doubt after Athens said it was not ready to accept flights from the UK, which still has a relatively high reproductive rate for coronaviruses – which means the disease is not completely under control.

A travel industry source said: "The Greek move opened a can of worms and led to other EU countries with similarly low R-rates, who also believed they should try to block British vacationers."

Tour operators are demanding clarity from the government, claiming that the delay in confirming the full details prevents people from booking vacation.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Transport (DfT) described the policy as "development policy", but declined to comment.

Today George Morgan-Grenville, executive director of luxury tour operator Red Savannah, described government policies as "catastrophe" and "bad".

The government has been working on a traffic light system based on Covid risk in other countries and plans to allow travel to "green" and "amber" countries

Nicola Stör

Nicola Sturgeon has threatened to boycott government airlift plans with other countries

Which countries are likely on the government's "safe" travel list?

Up to 75 countries could be exempted from quarantine restrictions when the government finally publishes its list of “safe” travel destinations.

A ban by the Federal Foreign Office for non-essential travel could be lifted for the following countries:

Austria, Croatia, Germany, Greece, Belgium, Denmark, Turkey, France, Italy, Netherlands, Switzerland, Spain, Barbados, New Zealand, Thailand, Vietnam, Australia, Canada, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Bermuda and Gibraltar.

Only countries whose risk is classified as sufficiently low are placed on the list.

Downing Street downplayed the list's reports of more than 75 countries before the official announcement.

He told the BBC's Radio 4 Today, “The entire quarantine was a disaster. It was a bad piece of secondary legislation.

& # 39; No business or regulatory impact assessment was conducted, no consultation was conducted. And it was effective to prevent the industry from getting back on its feet after four months without sales.

“The government likes to say that they followed science, but scientists don't like to say that they followed the government.

"There were numerous scientists … who said the exact opposite and said it would have a negligible impact on public health and it would be a very strange time to bring it in."

Paul Charles of the Quash Quarantine Group said: "Every day that there is a delay is a day with lost bookings and more jobs in the travel sector."

Theresa Villiers, the former Secretary of the Environment and Northern Ireland who was Minister of Transport in the coalition, said the quarantine policy was not worth it.

"This policy has harmed the travel industry and inconvenienced vacationers with no evidence to effectively reduce Covid's risk," she said.

As one of the MPs asking Home Secretary Priti Patel to postpone the restrictions when they were introduced a month ago, she added: “Airlifts had to be in place from the start to provide a risk-based approach that only required quarantine for flights from places with high infection rates. & # 39;

Mr Shapps has expressed little doubt this morning during the House of Commons transport issues that he is responsible for the Scottish Government for the delays in publishing the list of "safe" countries and the "airlift" strikes.

In addition to his broadside with Mr. Newlands, the Minister of Transport also said to Philippa Whitford, SNP MP: "The honorary member can look forward to something that can be done, namely to ask the Scottish Government to join us to ensure that we do These airlifts are available nationwide as soon as possible. & # 39;

Mr. Shapps also pointed out that the relaxation of travel restrictions would go hand in hand with a more extensive review at airports.

Conservative former minister Dame Cheryl Gillan asked Mr. Shapps about introducing a Covid 19 testing program at airports.

Pictured: Tourists will arrive at Nikos Kazatzakis International Airport in Crete, Greece on Wednesday, July 1, 2020. The passengers - most of them from Germany - came to the island on the first international flight from Hamburg

Pictured: Tourists will arrive at Nikos Kazatzakis International Airport in Crete, Greece on Wednesday, July 1, 2020. The passengers – most of them from Germany – came to the island on the first international flight from Hamburg

He replied: “She is absolutely right, it is very important to make sure that we can offer security to the passengers, but also that we can do something useful in the review that goes beyond what the temperature test prompt offers. That is why we are actively working with Heathrow and other airports to implement this type of system. "

Mr. Shapps said he would say more about it in time for the air corridors' next review.

The UK government is expected to announce that the British can travel to most countries in the European Union, to all British overseas territories and to a number of other long-haul destinations – including Australia, New Zealand, Thailand and Sri Lanka.

On June 8, quarantine restrictions on arrival in the UK – including the return of British citizens – were imposed and hope for vacation abroad ended.

However, last week it was announced to ease the measures for people returning from “safe” countries as of July 6th.

The government has been working on a traffic light system based on Covid risk in other countries and plans to allow travel to "green" and "amber" countries.

But Greece's announcement to extend the UK's ban on flights surprised the British government, which should publish the list on Monday.

The country was opened to tourists for the first time since yesterday's closure, but said visitors to the UK would have to wait at least July 15 to gain access.

According to The Times, other countries have raised the alarm over the proposed Airlift agreements after the outbreak of the Covid 19 cases in Leicester.

The government has been criticized by figures from the travel sector for failing to disclose all the details of its easing of the measures, and has said it is preventing people from booking vacation with confidence.

The lack of clarity about the possible changes in travel restrictions has created confusion among many vacationers, many of whom have remained in the balance.

Social media users complained that they had already booked an existing vacation, but were not sure whether they could make the trip.

One said that the "lack of information coming from the government is the killer" and that they "only want to know one way or the other".

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