Wednesday morning news briefing: Portugal trip ‘worse than sex abuse

Danny BoyleWed, 10 February 2021, 7:29 am

Cartoonist Blower on the punishment for trying to hide a journey to an at-risk country  
Cartoonist Blower on the punishment for trying to hide a journey to an at-risk country

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MPs criticise harsh sentences for hiding ‘red list’ travel

A backlash is growing against the Government’s threat that families who lie about going on holiday to places such as Portugal face up to 10 years in jail. Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced that anyone trying to conceal their trip to a “red list” country, from which arrivals have to spend 10 days in a quarantine hotel, could receive the sentence. It gives failure to declare travel on the quarantine form a greater maximum prison term than for sex offences involving children or violent firearm crimes. The “extraordinarily high” punishment angered senior Tories, the travel industry and critics of draconian Covid restrictions led by Lord Sumption, the former Supreme Court judge. In an article for The TelegraphLord Sumption claims Mr Hancock’s connection with reality has “finally snapped”. Sketchwriter Michael Deacon says Mr Hancock shut the stable door – and now just needs to find his high horse. View the full list of 33 “red list” destinations. Your summer holiday might be in jeopardy, but Matt finds a reason to smile with today’s cartoon.

Meanwhile, Public Health England reported dangerous variants that may evade vaccines and the immune system were not increasing in Britain and people should be reassured they were under control. Latest testing results show that cases of the new mutated UK variant and South African variant are largely static. Search for Covid case numbers by postcode.