Traffic light system could be scrapped: Government ‘is set to end green and amber lists and focus instead on whether holidaymakers are double-jabbed’
- Ranking countries green or amber could end, although red category ‘will stay’
- New rules only likely to affect holidaymakers who have not been double jabbed
- Traffic light system has come under criticism, including from the boss of BA
The traffic light system could be scrapped and replaced with a new approach based on whether travellers are double jabbed, it was claimed today.
Ranking countries green or amber could end, although the red category is expected to stay for high-risk destinations for which hotel quarantine is required.
Paul Charles, head of the PC Agency, a consultancy, said plans to create a simpler system had been shared with travel industry bosses and airlines.
‘The traffic light system is expected to be scrapped by 1st Oct – at last,’ he tweeted. ‘Airlines and some of us in the sector are aware of plans to create a simpler system, where countries are either red or not.’
People enjoy themselves at Magaluf beach in Mallorca – a popular destination for UK holidaymakers – earlier this summer
Paul Charles, head of the PC Agency, a consultancy, said plans to create a simpler system had been shared with travel industry bosses and airlines
Fully-vaccinated Britons can already return from amber list countries without having to self-isolate after ministers ditched the requirement.
This means that for double-jabbed holidaymakers, the same rules apply to both green and amber countries, with a requirement to undergo pre-departure tests and then a PCR test within two days of returning to the UK.
The new system is likely to only impact the non-vaccinated, it is claimed. The quarantine or testing requirements they will have to undergo is still unclear.
‘It’s about whether you are vaccinated or not, rather than the country you are travelling to,’ a source briefed on the proposal told the Telegraph, which first reported the plans.
‘What it means is that green and amber disappear and only vaccination status will count for where you travel.
‘For a vaccinated person, just as now all countries apart from red are ”green”.’
A Government spokesman said: ‘Our international travel policy is guided by one overwhelming priority – protecting public health.
‘Decisions on our traffic light system are kept under regular review and are informed by the latest risk assessment from the Joint Biosecurity Centre and wider public health factors.
‘The next formal checkpoint review will take place by 1 October 2021.’
The UK’s travel rules have been coming under increasing criticism, with the boss of British Airways declaring them ‘not fit for purpose’ yesterday.
Chief executive Sean Doyle said Government policy is ‘the biggest single enabler’ of airlines recovering from the virus crisis.
He went on: ‘We had the traffic light system over the summer. There was some progress made.
‘But I think it’s not fit for purpose. It needs to be simplified. It needs to be adapted in the same way that we see in Europe and in the US.’
On Monday, Gatwick CEO Stewart Wingate called for testing to be removed altogether for travellers who have been double jabbed.
‘Other countries have done this and their aviation sectors are recovering much faster with bookings in Europe recovering twice as fast as in the UK,’ he said.
The requirements vary depending on whether someone is arriving from a green, amber or red location, and whether or not they are fully vaccinated.
Pictured: A graph showing the progress of Britain’s Covid vaccine rollout