Angela Merkel’s UK travel rules defended by former MEP
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German Chancellor Angela Merkel has called on she would like other European countries to require people entering them from countries where there are high levels of the Delta variant, like Britain, to go into quarantine, as is the case in Germany. Cabinet minister has said her restrictions on British tourists was unjustified. But ex-MEP Elmar Brok said the “difference” is the UK is not a member of the European Union anymore.
Asked why Portugal and Cyprus were not being treated differently, Mr Brok told LBC said: “The authorities have done a lot in Lisbon, they have closed Lisbon for a few days and that is the situation.
“We have free movement in the European Union, you have decided not to have free movement with the European Union, and that is the difference.
“You are not a member of the European Union anymore.”
Mr Ferrari interjected: “Just to clarify, if Britain were still in the European Union, Angela Merkel would not be calling for this?”
Mr Brok shouted: “You chose to go out, that is not punishment for Britain, but we are afraid that your variation comes to Germany, that’s the only point.”
It comes as Mr Eustice said the Government would take a cautious approach to changes to travel restrictions.
Changes to the traffic light system are due to be set out on Thursday and the Environment Secretary told Sky News: “I want us to get back to a position where we can support those who want to travel to do so. Nobody likes the draconian restrictions we have had to put in place over this last year as we have wrestled with the pandemic.
“So, yes, we want to get to a position where we can support people who want to travel to be able to do so, but it is difficult.
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“We are being cautious because the biggest threat still to our progress against this pandemic and the great progress we have made on vaccination is that there will be another variant somewhere that maybe hadn’t been properly detected in another country and that that variant is more resistant to vaccination.
“That’s the great challenge that we have got, that’s why we are proceeding with caution.”
Holidaymakers could be given more options for quarantine-free travel when the Government reviews its foreign travel list on Thursday.
An update of the lists which determine the quarantine and testing requirements for people arriving in the UK could see Malta and the Balearic Islands added to the green list, according to reports.
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It comes after the vaccines minister revealed almost half of all adults aged 25 to 29 in England and a third of those aged 18 to 24 had now received their first dose of a coronavirus jab.
People arriving in the UK from green list destinations are not required to self-isolate, but there are currently no viable major tourist destinations in that tier.
However, Malta and the Balearic Islands, with its popular destinations of Mallorca and Ibiza, are among a “handful” of places being considered for addition to the green list, according to the Times.
Malta and Spain are currently on the Government’s amber list, alongside other popular summer hotspots such as Portugal, Italy and Greece, with a 10-day quarantine period at home required for people returning from those locations.
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