Richard Spurr 4am - 7am
Nick Ferrari questions minister: 'Why don't you just tell people don't go on holiday?'
4 June 2021, 10:41
Nick Ferrari questioned why the Government are not just explicitly telling people not to go on holiday, pushing Robert Jenrick to clarify the travel policy as holidaymakers in Portugal desperately try to get flights home.
Nick Ferrari challenged Robert Jenrick on why the Government made this decision "within hours", resulting in holidaymakers scrambling to get home before quarantine rules come into force from 4am on Tuesday.
Nick questioned the Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick: "You moved within hours regarding Portugal, it took weeks to put India on the red list. Explain."
"We're taking a cautious approach," Mr Jenrick said, to which Nick responded that he supports consistent action regarding all countries.
He continued: "If you promise British citizens you'll give them something, you give them something. If it is a fast moving scene and you have effectively no control, just tell people that and you won't have families stranded at the end of half term in Portugal."
Mr Jenrick responded, "Let me be clear, people shouldn't be going on holiday to countries that are on the red or amber list."
"They didn't, they went on holiday to a country that was on the green list, probably thinking they'd be acquainted with what's called the watch list, which clearly now is like many politicians' promises: just in tatters," Nick said.
"If you do book a holiday to a country that's on the green list, you do have to be aware that we are reviewing it every three weeks...I would advise you to make sure that your travel operators, most of whom are offering flexibility if you need a refund."
Nick asked: "Why don't you just tell people don't go on holiday?...Why don't you tell people do not go on an overseas holiday? We are telling you do not go on an overseas holiday, why don't you just say it? Be big, brave and bold."
Mr Jenrick responded: "What our position is is that you shouldn't go on holiday to country on the red or amber list, I wouldn't recommend speculatively booking holidays to those places either. If you do choose to book to a country currently on the green list, be careful because things can change as you seen."
Conversely, the Government came under fire for its delay in implementing red list restrictions on India until 23 April despite rising cases. Neighbouring countries Pakistan and Bangladesh were red listed 20 days earlier while having lower levels of Covid infection.
Public Health England has confirmed that the variant of coronavirus first identified in India is now the dominant strain in the UK.
The number of cases confirmed by laboratory analysis rose by 79% over the last week to 12,431.