Holidays: Travel expert discusses proposed ‘traffic light system’
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At a Downing Street news conference, the Prime Minister is expected to confirm the Government’s blanket ban on overseas travel will be lifted from May 17. Instead, a traffic-light system will be introduced to rate destinations according to their Covid risk. It means many Britons could be taking a summer break in the US, Barbados, the Maldives, Gibraltar, the United Arab Emirates, Malta and Israel, where infection rates are much lower than mainland Europe.
Mr Johnson said several months ago May 17 was the earliest possible date to restart foreign travel.
His announcement today will confirm that his road map for reopening the economy as infection rates plummet remains on track.
He is expected to urge holidaymakers to wait for a full report from the Government’s global travel task force, due on April 12, before booking an overseas trip.
Today’s announcement comes as many European countries are imposing new lockdown restrictions to tackle a third wave of the pandemic on the Continent.
France and Italy have reimposed their lockdowns as Covid cases continue to soar, leaving millions marking Easter under new restrictions. Paris saw an exodus of residents ahead of the new rules coming into force and the government has closed all schools.
Travellers arriving from countries rated “green” will not be required to isolate, although pre-departure and post-arrival tests will still be needed.
For those classed as “amber” or “red”, the restrictions will remain as they are, with arrivals required to isolate or enter quarantine. The industry body, Airlines UK, which has been calling for some type of traffic-light system, said it was important that mass air travel resumed soon.
Chief executive Tim Alderslade said: “There are tens of thousands of jobs dependent upon aviation and restarting travel, and the sector cannot survive another lost summer with little revenue.
“We can do this proportionately. It’s not a question of opening up the border to every country out there.
“If there are concerns about variants, restrictions will remain, but where it is safe to do so we need to start the process of opening up.
“We cannot, with a straight face, talk about Global Britain without aviation.”
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