The Labour Party is pushing for strict hotel quarantine measures to apply to all UK arrivals.
Last night in the House of Commons, Labour called for the 10-day Government-mandated quarantine to be immediately extended, due to fears over potential new virus variants. Conservative MPs abstained from the vote.
Currently, only arrivals who have travelled from a list of 33 ‘red list’ countries, including swathes of South America, South Africa and Portugal, are subject to the new rules.
Shadow Home Secretary, Nick Thomas-Symonds, said: “Covid is not going away. We need this strategy, and we need it now.”
He added: “I recognise, of course, the huge challenges to the aviation sector and its supply chains, the impact on the tourism and hospitality industry, and the number of jobs that it supports.”
However, he gave few specifics on timelines, practicalities or how the industry could be helped, other than extended Government support.
This morning, Junior Education Minister Michelle Donelan pushed back on the motion, telling the BBC that it was “unfeasible” to house all arrivals in hotel quarantine, adding “we have to be realistic about what we adopt and what we do.”
The Cabinet is understood to be split on whether to tighten the rules. Home Secretary Priti Patel is said to be among those wanting stricter controls, while Transport Secretary Grant Shapps favours a more targeted approach.
In Scotland, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is expected to announce more extensive hotel quarantine measures today.
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