‘Utterly incomprehensible!’ Spiteful German politician calls for EU ban on UK tourists

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Karl Lauterbach believes that scuppering holiday plans for millions of Britons is the only way to stop the highly infectious Delta variant from spreading across mainland Europe. Last month Germany and France banned non-essential travellers from the UK over concerns about the variant.

The SDP politician and health expert now believes all of the EU’s 27 countries should adopt the policy.

He told German newspaper BILD: “In view of the dramatic corona development in the United Kingdom in the middle of the main travel season, a travel embargo from the United Kingdom to Europe would be advisable.

“It is completely incomprehensible why there are no tough EU-wide entry restrictions for travellers from Great Britain.

“The minimum would be a 10-day quarantine with the first test after five days for the British in all EU countries.

“It cannot be that in the last phase of the vaccination campaign all of Europe is exposed to the Delta variant from England on vacation.”

The number of recorded cases of the Delta variant have risen by 46 percent in a week across the UK and now account for about 95 percent of new infections.

The majority of these cases are being reported in England, where there’s been a total of 102,019 Delta cases.

Within England, the biggest outbreaks have mainly been in the north, with Bolton recording 5,017 Delta cases to date and Manchester seeing 4,100.

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The rising case rate has caused concern but Public Health England said that the vaccine rollout continues to have a “crucial effect on hospital admission and deaths”.

Much of the EU has lagged behind the UK when it comes to inoculating their own populations against the virus – sparking fears that the Delta variant could wreak havoc on their recoveries.

Despite making advances, both Germany and France have so far failed to match the UK’s rollout – possibly prompting Mr Lauterbach’s outburst.

In response Transport Minister Grant Shapps told Sky News on Friday that “each country will have to draw its own conclusions”.

He added: “Germany doesn’t have the same level of vaccinations (like the UK), so they’re particularly concerned.”

He also dismissed speculation that there would be a EU-wide ban on UK travellers.

Speaking to Times Radio he said: “I don’t think there will be an EU-wide policy.

“Malta is certainly not going to restrict British travellers because Malta has very high vaccination rates.”

The news emerged as the UK government cleared the way for holidaymakers to jet off to 16 destinations including the Balearic Islands, the Caribbean and Malta.

Additional reporting by Monika Pallenberg.

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