New Covid-19 restrictions: Crawley MP calls for aviation and travel recovery support

As the Prime Minister and the Health & Social Care Secretary announced new Covid-19 restrictions yesterday (Wednesday, 8th December), Henry Smith MP spoke in the House of Commons to call for further support for the aviation and travel sectors which continue to be hamstrung by measures to address the pandemic.

Commenting after speaking in the House of Commons, Henry said: “While other parts of the economy have been able to start to get back on their feet, the aviation and travel sectors have been hampered with uncertainty and restrictions, including those which have been brought in affecting international travel in recent days.

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“No one can dispute the importance of addressing public health issues, and international travel must resume safely. What can be mitigated however is the effect that restrictions can have on the sector through targeted support, which is what I’m calling for in Parliament.

Henry Smith, MP for Crawley, said: "“As Crawley MP and Chair of the Future of Aviation All-Party Parliamentary Group I’ll continue to lobby Government for further support for this sector and those who work in it, including at Gatwick Airport.”

“Aviation, travel and tourism have been among the worst hit parts of the economy over the last two years, with airport communities such as Crawley the most affected.

“As Crawley MP and Chair of the Future of Aviation All-Party Parliamentary Group I’ll continue to lobby Government for further support for this sector and those who work in it, including at Gatwick Airport.”

Speaking in the House of Commons, Henry Smith MP asked the Secretary of State for Health & Social Care: "Last month, the aviation and travel sectors were showing real signs of recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions.

"Their reimposition has seriously dented confidence in people being able to travel, and that is having a direct impact on jobs in an industry that is already on its knees. What discussions have been had in Government about reintroducing support packages for critical sectors of the UK economy, without which we will not have the economic recovery to be able to pay for the public services we need?”

The Secretary of State for Health & Social Care, Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP, responded: "I am sure that my hon. Friend will agree that the best support we could provide for the transport sector right now is to remove these recent restrictions.

"I am confident that, as we learn more about this variant and if, as is expected, over time it becomes the dominant variant, we can start removing those restrictions very quickly.”