Rishi Sunak has written to Boris Johnson warning that the UK’s travel restrictions are “out of step” in comparison to other countries.
The Sunday Times reported the Chancellor raised concerns with the Prime Minister about the damage that the current border controls are doing to the UK’s economy and has called for holiday rules to be relaxed soon.
Mr Sunak is said to have emphasised in particular the impact that the international travel rules are having on the tourism and hospitality sector and noted that the success of the country’s vaccination programme should warrant a weakening of the restrictions.
A No.10 source did not deny the Prime Minister had received a letter from the Chancellor, but said the correspondence was not related to the next travel review which is due to take place on Thursday.
The review comes as a group of British airline bosses have written to Transport Secretary Grant Shapps urging the government to reduce the “still onerous and increasingly disproportionate burden of testing of travellers” – and to move more countries to be added to the government’s green list.
Signatories of the letter include the chief executives of
Airlines UK, British Airways, easyJet, Jet2, Loganair, Ryanair, TUI and Virgin Atlantic.
The letter states:
“The world has changed since the inception of the traffic light system, and ‘green status’ should increasingly become a default, given the changing risk equation, and mirroring the approach to domestic restrictions. On this basis there is no reason why, and it is essential, that much of Europe including the key volume markets, the US, Caribbean and other major markets, cannot turn green next week in time for the remainder of the summer peak.”