Jim McMahon MP, Labour’s Shadow Transport Secretary, commenting on the published list of countries exempt from quarantine rules, said:
“Labour – like families and businesses up and down the country – are keen for the government’s quarantine measures to be lessened, but this a mess.
“First we had the quarantine that they were slow to implement, then they said they’d do air bridges. Now we see a plan to let residents of 60 or more countries into England without any reciprocal arrangements.
“The fact they have been unable to negotiate air bridges is an indictment of their failure to tackle the crisis at home. They were too slow to take lockdown, too slow to order PPE and too slow to protect our country.”
Jim McMahon MP, Labour’s Shadow Transport Secretary, commenting on Grant Shapps’ Written Ministerial Statement confirming Air Bridges with other countries will be brought in said:
“Labour has been clear we needed to replace the blunt 14-day quarantine. It was brought in extremely late after millions of passengers had already entered the UK without any such restrictions and the damage and uncertainty created by its introduction without a clear exit strategy was significant and puts further jobs at risk.
“Going forward ‘air bridges’ is the right starting point, provided it can be done safely but it cannot be the only intervention. While it is logical that countries with lower infection reproduction rates present less risk, it is a fact that countries do not carry the virus; individuals do.
“It is vital therefore that in the published plan there is a full range of measures which could include pre-screening arrangements before departure, temperature scanning in airports, isolation zones, as well as an effective 48-hour or less test in the UK supported by a robust contact tracing scheme.”
Jim McMahon MP, Labour’s Shadow Transport Secretary, commenting on the Government’s daily press conference, said:
“The Transport Secretary talks of ‘an impossible few months’ for the aviation sector, yet fails to acknowledge he has the power to act, and has chosen not to.
“Thousands of jobs have been under threat of redundancy, with staff, the sector and politicians of all sides urging the Government to act, yet Tory Ministers have been found wanting.
“Labour has consistently called for a sectoral deal that supports the whole aviation industry including securing jobs and protecting the supply chain, while continuing to press for higher environmental standards.”