The comments made by Jim McMahon, the Shadow Secretary of State for Transport, on 17 September 2021.
Labour has been calling for months for a simplified system for international travel, affordability of tests and the publication of full country-by-country data, to allow the public and the travel industry to make informed decisions.
PCR tests play a crucial role in identifying variants of concern and ministers must now set out in detail exactly how they will continue this surveillance – including whether they plan to increase sequencing of tests – to ensure we do not see a repeat of the failings that allowed the Delta variant to spread rapidly through the country.
Unfortunately the Government has chosen yet again to brief an important policy change to the press before bringing the plans to Parliament, preventing proper scrutiny. We all want to see international travel moving freely again, but the public deserve to hear in full how ministers intend to keep people safe and prevent any further variants that could risk the success of our vaccination programme.