Rishi Sunak calls on Boris Johnson to ease holiday travel rules — report

The chancellor warns the UK’s border rules damage the economy and tourism

Leonie Chao-Fong
Sunday 01 August 2021 00:31
<p>Prime Minister Boris Johnson (left) and Chancellor Rishi Sunak </p>

Prime Minister Boris Johnson (left) and Chancellor Rishi Sunak

Rishi Sunak has urged Boris Johnson to ease holiday travel restrictions in order to boost the economy and save he summer travel plans of thousands, it has been reported.

The chancellor has written to the prime minister warning that the UK’s border rules were damaging the economy and tourism, according to The Sunday Times.

His warnings come ahead of a crucial meeting of ministers on Thursday to decide the travel rules for August and amid growing concern that Britain has saddled travellers with more “draconian” rules than other countries.

In the letter, Mr Sunak said that the country’s border policy was “out of step with our international competitors”, adding that the restrictions had a detrimental effect on jobs

A source familiar with the letter told The Sunday Times: “Rishi has called time on the travel restrictions.”

Overseas travel hopefuls are awaiting new travel rules that will dictate whether people will have to undergo Covid-19 tests or isolation if they travel to popular summer holiday destinations such as France, Italy and Spain.

About 10 to 12 countries are expected to move from the amber to the green list, while France is expected to move back to the regular amber list after being put on a special “amber plus” list.

A senior government source told the paper: “Rishi and the PM are concerned that we’ve got the benefit from vaccinating so many people and yet we are an outlier in terms of how draconian we are about travel.”

Meanwhile, transport secretary Grant Schapps said it was essential to have “painful” travel restrictions and a cautious approach to countries such as France to avoid the spread of a coronavirus variant that vaccinations might be less effective against.

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