Restrictions on travel, which were “disproportionate risks to public health”, have severely damaged the UK aviation industry, Transport Committee said.
In a broad and highly critical report, lawmakers say the Covid-19 government’s rules “often not based on scientific consensus” change frequently.
These measures caused a “severe financial shock to the sector” with no significant health benefits.
But the government insists the travel restrictions “did not last longer than was absolutely necessary.”
Shortly after the start of the coronavirus pandemic, in mid-March 2020, the UK was the only one to lift all restrictions on arrival.
But by June of that year, when other countries were opening up, ministers had gone to the opposite extreme by imposing a mandatory 14-day quarantine for all arrivals in the UK (except Ireland).
Frequent brief changes combined with the introduction of quarantine in hotels and an unclear system of restrictions “traffic lights” continued over the next 21 months.
All travel measures were lifted in March 2022.
The committee, chaired by Senior Conservative MP Hugh Meriman, is scathing about the measures imposed by the Secretary of Transport. Grant Shaps.
“The way the government imposed restrictions on international travel during the pandemic has been inconsistent, confusing industry and passengers,” he concluded.
“The aviation industry, which connects the UK with the world, has faced serious economic difficulties due to government constraints that have not been based on scientific consensus.”
Traffic light restrictions are described as “opaque, ambiguous and inconsistent.”
The report says that “the rationale for the decision to classify individual countries as ‘red’, ‘amber’ or ‘green’ was not available.”
In quarantine in hotels, deputies do not find “any evidence” of any benefit compared to the self-isolation of the house.
They also expressed regret over the frequent changes in the rules, saying: “Restrictions have changed more than 15 times between 2020 and 2022.”
In fact, if you include a lot of “traffic light” movements, there are hundreds of changes.
A spokesman for the Department of Transportation rejected the committee’s findings, saying: “Our priority was to protect public health, and these measures provided vital time for the deployment of our successful reinforcement program as we responded to new and dangerous options.
“But we also made sure they didn’t last longer than absolutely necessary, and the UK was the first country in the G7 to lift all travel restrictions.
“In the future, the government’s standard approach will be to use the least stringent measures to minimize the impact on travel, and they will only be implemented in extreme circumstances.”
Tim Alderslade, CEO UK Airlinessaid: “The sector has survived the worst crisis in history, and it will take several years to deal with the loans that airlines had to take on to survive the pandemic without passengers.”
Britain’s advantage in European aviation was lost. For decades until early 2020 London Heathrow was the busiest in Europe.
But Britain’s main hub started 2022 in 10th place International Airport Council, behind both of Moscow’s main airports, two of Istanbul’s airports and even the Antalya resort of Turkey.
Deputies say restrictions on Covid’s travel are “disproportionate and confusing.”
Source link Deputies say restrictions on Covid’s travel are “disproportionate and confusing.”