WATCH: Labour accuses government of making Covid decisions in “chaotic way”

Elliot Chappell

Nick Thomas-Symonds has criticised the government for making decisions in a “chaotic way that doesn’t breed confidence” and called for a more strategic and planned approach.

In an interview with Sky News this morning, the Shadow Home Secretary discussed the hasty introduction of a 14-day quarantine period for all travellers coming to the UK from Spain.

The Labour MP set out his concerns for the aviation and tourism industries, and reiterated the party’s call for a “sector-specific” approach to government support for the economy in the pandemic.

He said: “Clearly it’s enormously challenging for tourism, for the aviation and wider travel sectors – and that’s why now we’ve been calling for a sector-specific deal for aviation for some considerable time.”

Thomas-Symonds went on to say that this would “need to be subject to conditions in terms of climate targets, in terms of consumer rights, in terms of jobs, and also in terms of protection of supply chains”, but called it “absolutely vital”.

He added: “The government just seems to be making decisions in a quite chaotic way that doesn’t breed confidence and these decisions must be taken in a planned and strategic manner.”

The comments from Thomas-Symonds follow the announcement on Saturday that the government is imposing a two-week quarantine period. This blindsided many holidaymakers, including Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.

The government has been widely criticised for the lack of warning provided. Labour’s Jon Ashworth said on Sunday that “the way in which the decision has been made in the last 24 hours is frankly shambolic”.

Commenting on the way in which the announcement emerged, he explained that “it broke on Twitter, because a very good Sunday journalist got hold of the story and then the government had to scramble to confirm it – that is no way to treat people”.

Labour has highlighted that many workers will be left with no support after they return to the UK and are unable to work, as the government has not introduced any changes to statutory sick pay.

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