Thousands of Tourists are Arriving in the UK Everyday, as Govt Bans Brits from International Travel

A passenger walks through the arrivals hall at Terminal 5, Heathrow Airport in west London on February 15, 2021. - The government from today will require all UK citizens and permanent residents returning from 33 countries on its so-called travel ban list to self-isolate in a government approved facility for …
DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images

Approximately 8,000 foreign tourists are arriving in the United Kingdom every day according to Border Force figures, as native Britons are banned from taking holidays abroad.

In total, some 20,000 people are entering the country per day, with 40 per cent of those arrivals coming for tourist reasons.

Border Force staff revealed that hundreds of people are still being granted tourist visas by the Home Office, with one visa being granted to a Peruvian tourist who said the purpose of traveling to the UK was to “visit Big Ben”, according to The Times.

The figures also showed that only one per cent of foreign arrivals have been subjected to hotel quarantines, though travelers are required to take a coronavirus test within 72 hours before departing to Britain.

While foreigners are being allowed to vacation in Britain, the government has introduced £5,000 fines for anyone living in the UK who attempts to travel abroad for a holiday.

One member of Border Force staff said: “There are hundreds upon hundreds of arrivals up and down the UK every day from people who are basically coming here on a two-week holiday. There are no grounds to refuse them — arriving during a pandemic isn’t one of them. As long as they’ve got an address where they say they’ll quarantine, and they’ve completed their pre-departure tests, they’ve got their certificates and everything else, they’ve got means and a return ticket, we’ve got no grounds to refuse them.

“We’re still seeing visas issued overseas for people coming over here for a two-week family holiday and while it is permissible if someone is dying, that isn’t what staff are seeing. They’re seeing visas being issued overseas for purposes that people in the UK aren’t allowed to do.”

Professional officer at the Immigration Service Union, Lucy Moreton said: “It causes immense distress to Border Force staff to be constantly granting entry to individuals for reasons that would be impermissible for a UK resident. It’s deeply unfair for staff who cannot visit their own family in the UK or abroad who will be fined for doing so from this week to be seeing these numbers of arrivals of people coming to visit family in the UK, let alone go on holiday in the UK.”

The Home Office said that it did “not recognise” the figures compiled by the Border Force, and claimed that immigration officials at the border do have the ability to turn away people who they believe have come to the UK for “activities not permitted under current local health restrictions, such as holidays or tourism, or who will not comply with self-isolation and testing requirements.”

Despite having one of the highest coronavirus death rates in the world, the British government has maintained a largely open borders policy since the outset of the pandemic, with some 100,000 unscreened foreign arrivals being recorded per week during the first month of the national lockdown last year.

On Monday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to announce a roadmap for opening up international travel under a “traffic light” system, which would allow quarantine-free travel to certain countries deemed to be low risk.

The determinations will be based on the country’s rate of infection, the number of people vaccinated against the coronavirus, and whether or not there are any emerging variants of the virus.

The lifting of travel restrictions is not expected to be introduced for at least another month, with May 17th currently being floated as a possible starting date.

Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here @KurtZindulka

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