Boris Johnson shares how ‘red list’ will be decided from May – ‘constant’ changes likely

Boris Johnson says travel red list is under 'constant review'

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Some international travel is anticipated to resume from May 17 under Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s “roadmap” out of lockdown. However, this will only go ahead if the Global Travel Taskforce deem it is appropriate to do so nearer to the time.

Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday evening, Mr Johnson explained that the list will be “constantly” reviewed.

“We keep the ‘red list’ under constant review,” the PM said.

“All countries we keep under constant review and judge the state of the pandemic in those countries.

“This work is done actually not by the Government itself, it’s done by the Joint Biosecurity Centre (JBC).

“They look at the issue and they will make their determination based on what they think we need to do and clearly if they think there is a variant of concern for instance if they think the disease is taking off rapidly in that country or they have any other reason for concern then it will move onto the red list and downwards if it is going in a different direction.

“It is the JBC that does it and we keep it under constant review.”

This is very similar to how the “travel corridor” system of 2020 was reviewed, and therefore it is likely changes will happen frequently in line with surges and falls in Covid-related data around the world.

It does mean that changes could come suddenly, or simply as a precautionary measure.

Such is the case for India, which went onto the “red list” on Monday night amid growing concerns over a variant of COVID-19 first detected in the country.

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It has since been discovered in a number of travellers who have returned to the UK from India.

“You’ll recall that at the moment this is, what we are seeing in India is a variant that is under investigation,” Mr Johnson explained.

“It has not yet been deemed a variant of concern and that was why there has been a delay.

“I think what the JBC has decided is on a purely precautionary basis.

“It is necessary now to put India on the red list.”

The PM remained tight-lipped about any other nations which may find themselves on the “red list” in the coming weeks.

He also refused to give any hints as to which countries may end up being given “green” status.

“I’d love to be able to give you a clear rundown of the countries that we think will be red, amber or green,” said the PM.

“We won’t be able to do that at this stage.

“As we have said the Global Travel Taskforce has reported but what they have said is that we are really going to need to wait until early May before we can say which countries are on the list.

“You can see some of the troubles and problems that some of our friends are currently having so I think it would be premature to speculate about that.

“I am sorry about that but we will be saying as much as possible as soon as we can before May 17.”

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