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MPs to debate petition relating to international travel and covid-19

21 May 2021

On Monday 24 May, MPs will debate a petition relating to international travel and covid-19.

The debate will be led by Petitions Committee member Nick Fletcher MP. MPs from all parties can take part, and a Minister will respond on behalf of the Government.

Allow international travel to visit partners and family

The petition, which has more than 103,000 signatures, states: “The Government should class in-person interaction with family members and unmarried partners abroad as an essential reason to travel. It is vital for people’s mental wellbeing. It is simply inhumane to isolate and forcibly separate people and their family/partner. There are safe ways of enabling people to travel to their family members and/or partners, so there is no reason why the UK cannot facilitate this.”

In response to the petition, the Government said: “The Government recognises the immense challenges these restrictions place on people with loved ones based outside the UK. Unfortunately, at this time people must only travel with a reasonable excuse.”

What petitioners told us about the impact of covid-19 travel restrictions

Ahead of the debate, the Committee sought the views of petitioners and the wider public on the impact that covid-19 restrictions on international travel had had on them through an online survey and online forum Reddit.

What are petitions debates?

Petitions debates are ‘general’ debates which allow MPs from all parties to discuss the important issues raised by one, or more petitions, and put their concerns to Government Ministers.

Further Information

Image: Ross Parmly via Unsplash