Grant Shapps says UK being ‘cautious’ over travel list
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Fully-jabbed travellers coming from amber list countries are allowed to skip quarantine when arriving in the UK. However, Boris Johnson warned people should still be cautious when going on holidays and explained a “balanced and user-friendly approach” will be taken in the next travel review this week.
From today, double-jabbed travellers don’t have to quarantine when coming from the US or EU countries.
Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, said: “I’m very pleased that today, because of the vaccine rollout, we are able to say to people coming back from anywhere in the EU, plus Switzerland and the US, that they don’t have to quarantine.
“I understand people care very much about the holidays, they want to go abroad and I understand they want to plan and prepare for the summer holidays but we also have to remember that this is still a dangerous virus and we must try to stop more variants coming in from abroad,” he explained.
However, there are concerns an ‘amber watchlist’ could be added to the UK’s traffic light system in the next review, to which the Prime Minister said he just wants “simple and user-friendly” rules.
“So we have to have a balanced approach and what I want to see is something that is as simple and as user-friendly as possible.
“People want, badly, to go on their summer holidays, we need to get the travel industry moving again, we need to get our city centres open again and so we want an approach that is as simple as we can possibly make it,” he said.
The next travel review is due to take place this week and there are fears holiday spots such as Spain, Italy and Greece could be moved to the ‘amber watchlist’.
Countries on the amber watchlist are at risk of joining the red list at any time and with very short notice.
Currently, vaccinated UK holidaymakers returning from amber list countries do not have to quarantine.
Travellers coming from red destinations have to quarantine in a designated hotel for 10 days at their own cost.
At the moment, there is a green watchlist to alert holidaymakers that certain destinations could be moved to the amber list at any time.
Paul Charles, chief executive of travel consultancy The PC Agency, said ministers should not complicate the traffic light system even more.
He also warned the addition of an amber watchlist would be a “disaster”.
“There’s no need for an amber watchlist, which would complicate the traffic light system even more.
“Just create a simple go and no-go list, as Americans have, enabling the fully-jabbed to travel at will. It’s not rocket science.
“It would be a disaster to bring in an amber watchlist on top of the amber list, the green list, the red list,” he said.
Minister Matt Warman said earlier today: “What we’re trying to do is provide people with the information to make those bookings with confidence.
“Giving people a sense of which direction a country may or may not be heading in, I think, is an extra piece of information that allows people to make their own decisions with as much as their own data as possible.
“That seems to me to be the compassionate, sensible approach but it’s also I think really important that people make their own judgements.”
The next travel list review is due to take place on August 5.
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