Green Party criticises delay to “tokenistic and inadequate” border checks

14 January 2021

  • Jonathan Bartley: “With news of another new variant arriving from Brazil, this government’s inaction is continuing to cost lives”

The Green Party has criticised the latest delay to introducing Covid checks at UK borders.

Little more than 24 hours before pre-departure testing for international travellers to England was due to be introduced, the government has announced that it will now only start from Monday. [1]

Green Party co-leader Jonathan Bartley said:

“Once again we see the government presiding over absolute chaos when it comes to tackling this pandemic.

“Months after other countries introduced stringent and properly resourced Covid checks at borders, Grant Shapps has announced a tokenistic and inadequate plan and failed to even implement it on time.

“With news of another new variant arriving from Brazil, this government’s inaction is continuing to cost lives.”

While the introduction of tighter international travel regulations has been welcomed by the Greens, the party has warned the UK’s restrictions do not go far enough.

Bartley said:

“Proof of a test up to three days before travel and then unregulated quarantine for only 10 days is not going to protect the UK either against reintroductions or new mutated strains. We need the sort of regulated quarantine in government hotels that other countries across the world have introduced, with a final test before travellers are free to enter our communities.

“The deeply concerning stories of people arriving at our airports and filling in a form with no follow up increases the risk of transmission but also sends a message that the government is not taking the virus seriously, thus undermining compliance with other public-health measures.

“As prevalence of the virus falls as a result of vaccination and movement restrictions, we need an adequate system to protect the country against new cases being brought into the country by travellers.”

The Green Party’s proposals are supported by evidence published by the APPG on Covid. [2]

Since the public health response will continue to be run by the devolved governments, introducing regulated quarantine will require the UK government to work collaboratively with the devolved administration in Wales.




Interim report from the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Covid, December 2020.


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