Britain’s surging coronavirus infection rate is widening a rift between airlines and health authorities over the government’s decision to maintain some of the tightest rules on travel in Europe.
Travel industry officials plan to hold events on Wednesday in London, Edinburgh and Belfast to draw attention to some 195,000 jobs they say are at risk from restrictions on overseas trips. An adviser from Public Health England meanwhile warned that a fourth national lockdown may be needed this year to control the virus.
Those conflicting priorities are fraying the political consensus Boris Johnson has enjoyed on handling the pandemic, sharpening the focus on an industry that employs 860,000 people and has been brought to a halt by government rules. It has put the prime minister on a collision course with members of Parliament increasingly concerned about damage to the economy.
“The U.K. aviation industry is the hardest hit in Europe,” said…