Covid-19 Testing: Border Force

Home Department – in the House of Commons on 12th July 2021.

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Photo of Cat Smith Cat Smith Shadow Minister for Young People and Voter Engagement

What steps she has taken to help ensure that Border Force staff are trained on exemptions from requirements for covid-19 testing.

Photo of Kevin Foster Kevin Foster The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

Comprehensive guidance and training plans have been developed and are continually reviewed to ensure that all Border Force and frontline officers are trained in new policy, process and system changes relating to covid-19 border health measures, including those set by the devolved Administrations. That comprehensive guidance includes training and shift briefings.

Photo of Cat Smith Cat Smith Shadow Minister for Young People and Voter Engagement

RDI Trucking based in Preesall in my constituency provides international logistics for Formula 1 and other racing industries. Under coronavirus legislation, they are international transport workers. Therefore, as essential workers the legislation applies slightly differently to them, providing an exemption from the requirement for a negative test prior to cross-border travel. However, they have been having some issues in applying that. Will the Minister take the time to meet me and my constituent Baz Scott to discuss some of the issues he is facing in his industry?

Photo of Kevin Foster Kevin Foster The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

I am certainly happy to look into that if the hon. Member provides the detail. She will appreciate that Border Force’s first priority is to maintain our defences against covid-19. However, as part of our work, we are looking to move exemption decisions away from the border and to have more automatic checking. That is in everyone’s interests, including those passengers who need to comply with the regulations and would otherwise be stood behind those trying to prove exemptions at the primary control point.