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Travel: Coronavirus

Question for Department for Transport

UIN 6469, tabled on 24 May 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment the Government has made of the potential merits of exempting parents who are separated and whose children live abroad from international travel quarantine restrictions, to allow such working parents to visit their children without the need to take a considerable amount of annual leave.

Answered on

27 May 2021

International travel is now governed by a new traffic light system. Health measures at the border, after arrival, will vary depending on whether travelling from a green, amber or red country. The decision to implement additional border measures is in direct response to scientific and medical data, which represents an increased risk to UK public health and an increased risk of community transmission of COVID-19 variants of concern identified in those countries. There are a range of border measures in place to protect the UK from the importation of coronavirus and variants of concern (VoCs). These are intended to be temporary measures and the government keeps data for countries and territories under constant review.

We have made enormous progress this year in tackling the pandemic across Britain. That progress has been hard won and it is important that we don't risk undermining it now. International travel is vital. It connects families who have been kept apart, boosts businesses and underpins the UK economy. It is absolutely essential that any steps we take now, lay the groundwork for a sustainable return to travel, as the situation improves globally.

The government has however put in place measures to reduce the impact of border measures on families. For arrivals who have not been in a red-list country in the previous 10 days children are required to self-isolate, however they can do so in the family home and may also move between family homes during that period of isolation. For managed quarantine facilities, family groups will be able to quarantine together as long as the hotel is able to accommodate them. This includes couples and parents with children.

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