Majority of Britons frown on holidays to Spain, Greece or France during pandemic

Majority of Britons frown on holidays to Spain, Greece or France during pandemic
Poll finds backing for Boris Johnson warning to steer clear of amber-list destinations

A majority of Britons frown on their neighbours planning to jet off to Espanha, Grécia ou França this summer, com 60 per cent in a new poll saying it is not reasonable to holiday in such countries while they remain on the government’s coronavírus lista âmbar.

Algum 63 per cent polled for O Independente agreed with Boris Johnson’s assessment that travel to such countries should be avoided except in “extreme circumstances”, such as a serious illness of a family member.

Meanwhile one in five of those taking part in the Savanta ComRes survey thought the maximum £10,000 fine for breaching the rules was too lenient, with almost one in 20 saying that dodging quarantine should be punished with jail.

Travel industry bosses are pushing the prime minister to move popular destinations in Europe onto the green section of England’s “traffic light” system to permit mass holidays abroad this summer. Travel agents have reported a surge in bookings, many made in the hope of restrictions being eased in the coming weeks.

Mediterranean island sunspots like Malta, Maiorca, Ibiza and Rhodes are expected to be given the all-clear next week for holidays from 10 Junho.

But today’s poll suggests that the British public remain wary about trips abroad while coronavirus continues to circulate in countries around the world.

Just 25 per cent said it was reasonable to go on holiday in the amber zone, which covers most of the UK’s favourite getaway spots, with the exception of green-listed Portugal.

More than a third (36 por cento) said that all UK citizens returning from a trip abroad should face 10 days mandatory quarantine in managed airport hotelssomething currently restricted only to those coming from the highest-risk red-list countries like India or Brazil. And a further 21 per cent said all Britons coming back to the country should self-isolate at home for 10 dias, as is currently required for those coming from amber-list states.

Apenas 20 per cent backed the government’s traffic light system, which tailors quarantine requirements to the level of risk posed by different countries.

And just 6 per cent said quarantine should be scrapped altogether for Britons returning to the UK.

The legal ban on unnecessary overseas trips was lifted on 17 Maio, but the traffic light system threatens to make travel prohibitively onerous and expensive for all but a handful of destinations this summer.

Travellers arriving in England from 43 red-list states must take a Covid test before travelling and then two more while under quarantine in an approved hotel at a cost of at least £1,750.

Just 12 countries and territoriesincluding improbable destinations like the Falklands and South Georgia alongside Portugal, Iceland and Israelare on the lista verde, requiring only tests before and after travel.

For the rest of the world, amber-list rules mandate a test before travel and two more during 10 days’ isolation at home.

Labour has urged Mr Johnson to ditch the “confusing” system, which they branded “as secure as a sieve”, in favour of blanket quarantines.

Shadow home secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds highlighted official figures showing that 12 million people have flown into the UK since the start of the March 2020 lockdown and 1.59 million between January and April this year, when international travel was supposed to be tightly restricted.

“Time and time again, the UK government promised strong border measures, but the truth is now outmillions of people have been flying into the UK with only a tiny percentage going into hotel quarantine," ele disse.

And almost half (46 por cento) of those polled agreed that the the government’s current rules were unclear, equal to the 46 per cent who said they were clear.

Majorities said it was unreasonable to expect to travel to amber-list countries for holidays (60 por cento), to visit a second home (57 por cento) or visit family and friends (51 por cento). Algum 46 per cent disapproved of amber-list travel for business purposes, against just 36 per cent who said this was a reasonable thing to do.

The young were keenest to travel, com 40 per cent of 18-24 year-olds saying holidays in the amber zone should be allowed, compared to just 13 per cent of over-65s. Algum 49 per cent of the youngest age-group approved of visits to family and friends and 50 per cent of trips to second homes in the amber zone. People in the North-East and London were most likely to give the OK to travel for holiday breaks, while people in Northern Ireland were most likely to disapprove.

Algum 31 per cent said the maximum £10,000 fine for breaching quarantine after entering England from abroad is too harsh, mas 20 per cent believe it is too lenientwith the elderly wanting the toughest enforcement.

Asked which of a range of penalties was most appropriate, the largest group picked a fine of less than £1,000 (backed by around 14 per cent of the total), while at the other end of the scale more than 3.5 per cent thought the fine should be over £25,000 and 4 per cent said breaches should be punished with jail.

Savanta ComRes associate director Chris Hopkins said: “Throughout the pandemic Brits have been willing to give up their freedoms, and it still seemsfrom this polling at leastthat holidays are not top of people’s priorities heading towards the summer, with two thirds saying trips to amber list countries should be restricted to emergencies only.

“Half of Brits would also endorse some form of mandatory quarantine – at home or in a hotel – for arrivals into England from all countries, so even more being added to the green list may not encourage holidaymakers en masse to spend their summer abroad.”

• Savanta ComRes polled 2,215 British adults between 21-23 Maio.

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