Holidays: Grant Shapps outlines ‘traffic light’ system
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Under Boris Johnson’s roadmap out of the third coronavirus lockdown, May 17 will be the earliest date international travel can resume. But ministers have suggested a ‘traffic light’ system be introduced for countries – depending on their rate of infections and vaccination programmes.
Brits will reportedly learn which countries have been given a ‘green light’ in early May, ahead of the scheduled May 17 reopening.
Any announcement will come after the Government’s global travel taskforce officially shares its report into the proposed ‘traffic light’ system.
The report, initially due on Monday, was postponed after the death of Prince Philip.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s death led to the postponement of all non-urgent Government briefings for a week.
Confirmation of when travel will be allowed to resume, as well as the traffic light lists, is therefore not expected until early May.
UK travellers arriving in ‘green’ countries will need to take a pre-departure test in that country, and an £120 PCR test two days after returning.
Quarantine periods will not be needed for travellers unless they test positive for coronavirus.
However, ‘amber’ countries will see Brits quarantine for 10 days as well as having to take an additional PCR test on the eighth day back.
Hotel quarantines will be mandatory for those arriving from ‘red countries’, at the cost of £1,750.
A spokesperson for the Department for Transport insisted it was ‘too early to predict which countries will be on which list over the summer”.
They said: “These decisions will be driven by the data and evidence nearer the time, which we cannot predict now.
“In advance of the resumption of non-essential international travel, we will set out our initial assessment of which countries will fall into which category.
“Thereafter countries will move between the red, amber and green lists depending on the data.”
Johan Lundgren, Easyjet chief executive officer, believes European countries like France and Spain will make the ‘green’ list despite a third wave of coronavirus cases.
He said to the Sun: “Summer can really take off this year.
“I wouldn’t see a reason why you wouldn’t have the majority of the countries of Europe in there.
“It is important that the Government comes out with this list as soon as possible.
“This is the main question for most of our customers right now.”
The Prime Minister has warned however Brits must be “realistic” about whether travel can resume on May 17.
He told reporters on April 6: “We have to be realistic…we can’t do it immediately.
“But that doesn’t mean that we’ve given up on May 17.”
Mr Johnson also said the Government is looking into making “things as easy as we possibly can” for travellers, with cheaper tests and coronavirus vaccine certificates being discussed.
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