Socialist Worker

Easing travel rules puts profit before health

Issue No. 2766

The Tories are putting the needs of the travel industry above health

The Tories are putting the needs of the travel industry above health (Pic: Steve P/Flickr )


Following immense pressure from travel industry tycoons, Britain’s international travel restrictions will be eased.

But despite the Tories talk of reuniting friends and families across borders, the easing of restrictions has one main purpose—profit.

Boris Johnson was questioning whether to introduce a new tier, an amber watchlist, to the government’s traffic light travel system.

The new category would have warned people that their destination could shift quickly from amber to red, which requires travellers to quarantine in a hotel.

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But following backlash from the travel industry Johnson scrapped the proposals saying he wants a “user friendly” system to get the “travel industry moving again”.

These plans are not in the interest of people’s health.

Bosses don’t want passengers knowing if restrictions may change, forcing them to quarantine because it would damage profits.

That was made clear by the chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group for the Future of Aviation, Tory MP Henry Smith, who urged the government to rule out the amber watchlist plan.

The watering-down of travel restrictions could have a devastating impact on the spread of coronavirus in Britain.

Passengers arriving from amber countries, who have been fully vaccinated in Europe and the US, will not have to quarantine when entering Britain.

After Japan similarly eased international travel restrictions for the Olympic Games, it fuelled a fourth wave of Covid-19.

The change to travel restrictions is just one of many reckless moves by a Tory government guided by the interests of profit. It has decided to tamper with the already broken Test and Trace app so more people can shop.

Shortages

The app will now “ping” fewer people who have come into contact with someone carrying the virus, allowing more to go without self-isolating.

The Tories hope that this will put an end to the so-called “pingdemic”. This saw hundreds of thousands of people asked to self-isolate, triggering acute staff shortages in supermarkets, retail, hospitality logistics and many other sectors.

But the real problem was never a faulty app pinging people too many times. It was the rising number of Covid-19 cases in the wake of the Tories lifting coronavirus restrictions on 19 July.

Fewer people self-isolating will not help slow coronavirus. And Covid spreading could lead to mutations, which are more resistant to the vaccine.

This threatens to pile more pressure onto an NHS at breaking point—just as the Tories demoralised workers further with the 3 percent pay insult.

We need a much bigger fightback—against the Tories and for a system that puts people above profit.


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