SNP Westminster Press Office
The Westminster Tory government has been criticised for being “utterly out of touch”, after it was revealed that a government minister travelled to around 30 countries – including those on the red list – without quarantining on his return.
Alok Sharma – the minister responsible for this year’s crucial COP26 summit in Glasgow – had taken advantage of an exemption that allowed him to dodge quarantining. He is currently visiting red-listed Brazil and Bolivia.
On one reported occasion, Sharma visited a primary school not long after returning from Bangladesh – a red list country.
However, the jet-setting climate summit minister has been called out for dodging quarantine at the same time as the public face soaring costs for isolating. From next week, a solo traveller returning from a red list country will now have to pay £2,285 to quarantine in a hotel – up from £1,750.
The cost for an additional adult sharing a room is more than doubling from £650 to £1,430.
Commenting, the SNP’s Climate Change spokesperson Alan Brown MP said:
“At the same time as the costs of quarantining in a hotel have rocketed to eye-watering levels, Tory ministers are racking up the air miles and traveling around the world without a worry.
“The jet-setting minister should be setting an example, not exploiting a loophole and flying without a care in the middle of a pandemic and to countries on the red list.
“This is just yet another example of an utterly out of touch Tory government setting one rule for themselves and another for the rest of us.
“It’s understandable that government ministers have to travel on extreme occasions to work, but the public will rightly ask questions over the sheer number of trips being visited by the minister charged with leading the biggest climate change summit later this year and the risk to public health given some of the reports and countries visited.”
COP26: Government defends Alok Sharma over quarantine-free travel https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-58112621