Pressure to scrap expensive travel tests for holidays after 'Sajid Javid and Grant Shapps admit they're POINTLESS'

Pressure to scrap expensive travel tests for holidays after 'Sajid Javid and Grant Shapps admit they're POINTLESS'


BORIS Johnson is under fresh pressure to scrap costly and complex travel rules after two of his top Cabinet ministers allegedly admitted they're "pointless".

Labour MP Ben Bradshaw today sensationally claimed that both Health Secretary Sajid Javid and Transport Secretary Grant Shapps privately told him the testing regime was useless in stopping Omicron.

Brits heading abroad for some winter sun this Christmas will still be forced to pay for expensive tests despite the super-strain already rife in communities.

At a Commons grilling of ministers and health bods Mr Bradshaw fumed: "Why have we retained the extra testing regime that was introduced to stop Omicron coming here, when both the Transport Secretary and more importantly the Health Secretary have said to me in Parliament, that these are pointless?"

The raging MP said that Mr Shapps made the remarks in the division lobbies last night as they voted on Plan B measures.

Both Aviation Minister Robert Courts and top doc Jenny Harries said that travel tests helped slow the rate of transmission.

Under strict rules holidaymakers have to fork out for a pre-flight PCR or lateral flow test before heading home.

The free NHS lateral flows are not allowed, meaning people must have to pay for ones at processing sites.

They must also take an expensive PCR on day 2 of their return and isolate while they await the results.

Dr Harries, head of the UK Health Security Agency, said the border curbs were "prudent" as Britain braces for a "staggering" Omicron surge.

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Pubs, shops and restaurants could be forced to shut in January due to Omicron

At the session she confirmed the variant was now doubling every 1.9 days, adding the strain is "probably the most significant threat we've had since the start of the pandemic" and that hospitals face "serious peril".

Mr Javid confirmed that the hated red list was effectively scrapped today by taking all eleven countries off it.

The changes came into effect in the early hours of this morning – despite being in place for just two weeks to tackle the rapidly-spreading new variant.

Mr Javid told MPs in the Commons yesterday: "Now that there is community transmission of Omicron in the UK and Omicron has spread so widely across the world, the travel red list is now less effective in slowing the incursion of Omicron from abroad.

"Whilst we will maintain our temporary testing measures for international travel we will be removing all 11 countries from the travel red list effective from 4am tomorrow morning."

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