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Article from BTNews 27 SEPTEMBER 2021

Parliament's Transport Committee (Part 2)

In what proved to be a very busy week for Grant Shapps, Minster for Transport (not enough HVG drivers is part of his portfolio), his grilling last Wednesday at the Commons Select Committee was eagerly awaited and followed the industry’s appearance the previous day.

Shapps never breaks rank but is said to put up a robust case for aviation at cabinet level.  Sad to say he was emphatic concerning the future outlook. "The one thing I think we can all be certain of is we probably haven't seen the end of coronavirus – there will be further variants of concern. It does mutate all the time – I hope it shifts from a pandemic to something that is instead an endemic."

On a positive note Shapps said the Government is "working as quickly as possible" to scrap PCR tests for fully vaccinated international travellers.

The Government recently announced its intention for people who have had both doses of a coronavirus vaccine to be able to use a cheaper lateral flow test instead.

The Transport Secretary told the Committee that he does not yet have an exact date for the removal of PCR testing, but stressed the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) is "aware" of October half-term when families will be planning to go on holiday.

Asked why Britain is the only country in Europe that has mandatory hotel quarantine, Shapps said: "The number of countries in that mandatory quarantine has reduced by eight, and we hope to reduce them further – it is a matter of the Department of Health to work out the quarantine system.”  What he meant was, diplomatically “It’s not me.”

Also see in this week's BTN Parliament's Transport Committee (Part 1).


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