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10-year jail term for travel lies defended by British government

LONDON (BBC): A maximum 10-year jail term for lying about recent travel history has been defended by the government.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said the British public “would expect pretty strong action” and the maximum sentence reflects the seriousness of the crime.

It was criticised by former Supreme Court judge Lord Sumption who said lower tariffs exist for sex offences.

From Monday, people arriving in England from “red list” countries must isolate for 10 days in hotels, costing £1,750.

It follows concerns that existing vaccines being rolled out in the UK may struggle to control new virus variants identified around the world.

Meanwhile, Mr Shapps said people should not be booking holidays either in the UK or abroad, and that it was “too soon” for sun-seekers to plan getaways.

“People shouldn’t be booking holidays right now – not domestically or internationally,” he told the Today programme, prompting the travel industry to warn of another lost summer.

It comes as Prime Minister Boris Johnson told MPs the public would need to “get used to the idea of vaccinating and then re-vaccinating in the autumn” due to new variants.

And, speaking at Prime Minister’s Questions, he said the hotel quarantine plan was “measured” and “proportionate”.

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