Theresa May has waded into the row over the government’s handling of foreign travel.
Her intervention made headlines across the national press on Friday (11 June), as did British Airways’ decision to put staff back on furlough.
Meanwhile, a new domestic tourism campaign has been revealed, and there are hints the government’s proposed relaxation of Covid restrictions on 21 June will be delayed.
Elsewhere, airlines have reportedly opposed EU climate change plans, while a serious drought has hit parts of the US.
Former PM attacks ‘incomprehensible’ travel rules
Theresa May has told parliament she doesn’t understand the government’s stance on travel when more than half the UK population has been vaccinated. May said messaging “is mixed and the system chaotic” in a critical speech in the Commons. She said the government “needs to decide whether it wants an airline industry and aviation sector” in the UK”. (The Telegraph)
British Airways puts thousands of staff back on furlough
BA has put a large number of staff, including management, back on furlough after the delay to travel’s restart. The airline called for the government to reopen travel as soon as possible and add low-risk nations like the US to the green list. (The Telegraph)
Campaign to kick-start domestic tourism
The government plans to help boost domestic travel with a new rail pass and vouchers for popular attractions. The BritRail pass for foreign visitors will be launched and National Lottery will fund a £10 million attraction voucher scheme running from September 2021 to March 2022. (The Guardian)
Government ponders four-week delay to end of restrictions
Ministers are considering up to a month’s delay in the ending of restrictions to allow for more people to be fully vaccinated. Plans are being discussed for either a fortnight or a month’s extension from the original 21 June date because of the Delta variant. Minister are concerned a two-week delay would have to be extended. (The Times)
Airlines oppose EU climate change initiative
European airlines are lobbying against stricter European Commission rules on climate change, pressure group Influence Map claims. It says documents show carriers have objected to proposed new taxes on carbon-intensive fuels. (Financial Times)
Drought hits parts of US
The water level at the Hoover Dam has fallen to its lowest level since the 1930s, triggering an official declaration of a water shortage. The Colorado River dam supplies Arizona, Nevada and parts of Mexico. Lake Mead, which supplies Los Angeles and other major cities, is at critical level. (The Daily Mail)