British holidaymakers could travel overseas quarantine-free this summer under a traffic-light style system to “green list” countries, a proposal that has been welcomed by industry bosses.
“The traffic lights system would bring clarity as countries would be categorised by criteria including vaccine rollout, infection rates and hospital infrastructure. It would be designed to give visibility to those going away on how a country is performing,” said Paul Charles, chief executive of the travel consultancy The PC Agency. “Consumers are ready to accept sun, sand, sea and swab this summer if it means a safe overseas trip,” he added.
Travellers returning to the UK from “amber” countries would likely face pre-departure testing and quarantine for at least five days under the proposed system, while the ban on travel from “red list” countries is likely to continue.
Airlines UK, the trade body for UK registered airlines also welcomed the plan: “We know that universal, restriction-free travel is unlikely from 17 May but under a tiered system, based on risk, international travel can meaningfully restart and build up, with minimal restrictions in time,” said chief executive Tim Alderslade.
The details of the plan for the resumption of international travel are due to be revealed by the Global Travel Taskforce on April 12. However, Government ministers have cautioned consumers against booking holidays against the backdrop of rising infection rates in Europe.
“It just feels premature to be booking international holidays at the moment,” Helen Whately, Minister of State for Social Care, told BBC Breakfast on Monday, echoing statements made by Defence Secretary Ben Wallace on Sunday.
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