• Wednesday, June 07, 2023


Sunak urges Johnson to ease travel restrictions

Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak (L) and Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson. (Photo by TOBY MELVILLE / POOL / AFP) (Photo by TOBY MELVILLE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Pooja Shrivastava

CHANCELLOR Rishi Sunak is urging prime minister Boris Johnson to scrap Covid travel restrictions and save summer holidays this year, warning that border rules are wrecking the UK economy, squandering Britain’s vaccine advantage and are stricter than other European arrivals, said media reports.


Sunak has written to Johnson calling on him to “dump the draconian curbs” amid mounting concerns that current UK border rules are damaging the country’s wobbly economy, prticularly its already-devastated tourism and hospitality sectors, reports said.

Sunak has also reportedly warned Johnson that the UK is squandering its vaccine advantage after locking-down the country in January to roll-out Covid jabs.

“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,” a senior government source told Sunday Times

Treasury sources did not deny that the chancellor had written to the prime minister but said the communication was not related to next week’s review. 

Chancellor’s intervention comes ahead of a travel review meeting on Thursday (5) as millions of Britons are waiting to know whether they will have to undergo Covid tests or quarantine if they travel to popular tourist destinations such as France, Italy and Spain. 

The government has been facing criticism over its travel policy in recent weeks since placing France on the new, “amber-plus” list.

Last week, the government also announced that fully-vaccinated travellers from the US and Europe – with the exception of France – will be able to travel to the UK quarantine-free.

Although No 10 sources said it was too early to speculate on what changes might be made next week, there are reports that Spain might be the next country to go on the amber-plus list.

Speculation is also there that France might be promoted back to amber when the government updates the travel lists on August 5, restoring the ability for the double jabbed to skip self-isolation.

 Sunak’s push for travel restrictions to be softened comes only days after scientists, advising the government on coronavirus, warned that any increase in foreign travel this summer is concerning. 




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