UK sets out traffic light system to reopen COVID-restricted foreign travel

PTI | London | Updated: 09-04-2021 13:11 IST | Created: 09-04-2021 13:11 IST
UK sets out traffic light system to reopen COVID-restricted foreign travel

A traffic light system, which will categorise countries based on risk alongside the restrictions required for travel, has been rolled out by the UK government on Friday as part of plans to lift the current restrictions on non-essential overseas travel to control the spread of COVID-19.

The system, which slots countries under a red, amber and green system, will determine which set of travellers require varying degrees of hotel or home quarantine, with a stringent coronavirus testing regime in place. The full categorisation of countries under the three-way system is to be released later, expected in time for the next stage in the ease of lockdown on May 17.

“International travel is vital – it boosts businesses and underpins the UK economy – but more than that, it brings people together, connects families who have been kept apart, and allows us to explore new horizons,” said UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.

“The framework announced today will help allow us to reopen travel safely and sustainably, ensure we protect our hard-won achievements on the vaccine roll out, and offer peace of mind to both passengers and industry as we begin to take trips abroad once again,” he said.

Countries under the “Green” arrivals, the safest level, will need to take a pre-departure test as well as a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test on or before day two of their arrival back into the UK – but will not need to quarantine on return (unless they receive a positive result) or take any additional tests, halving the cost of tests on their return from holiday.

Those arriving to the UK from “Amber” countries, or medium risk from coronavirus, will need to quarantine for a period of 10 days and take a pre-departure test, and a PCR test on day two and day eight with the option for a paid Test to Release on day five to end self-isolation early if they test negative.

Those from “Red” countries, or the highest risk countries in terms of transmissions and deadly virus variants, will be subject to all the restrictions currently in place for the so-called “red list” of around 40 countries which include a 10-day stay in a managed quarantine hotel, pre-departure testing and PCR testing on day two and eight.

The report has been prepared by the Global Travel Taskforce to lay out how international travel could resume from May 17 at the earliest, including the removal of the Permission to Travel form – meaning passengers would no longer need to prove they have a valid reason to leave the country. The government says the focus is on managing risks posed by new coronavirus variants, which remains significant.

However, the travel industry has raised concerns over the enhanced expenses of the compulsory PCR tests and hotel quarantines, which would make international travel the preserve of the rich.

The Department for Transport (DfT) said it would work with the travel industry and private testing providers ahead of international travel reopening, to see how to further reduce the cost of travel for the British public, while ensuring travel is as safe as possible. This could include cheaper tests being used when holidaymakers return home, as well as whether the government would be able to provide pre-departure tests.

The DfT said it is working across government to consider the role certification, or so-called COVID vaccine passports, could play in facilitating outbound travel, for those countries which have systems in place. Work also continues to develop a system that would facilitate travel certification for inbound international travel.

To give passengers more certainty when travelling, the department is also planning a “green watchlist” to help identify countries most at risk of moving from “green” to “amber” and that the allocation of countries will be kept under review and respond to emerging evidence, with a particular focus on coronavirus variants of concern.

Based on the taskforce findings, a COVID-19 Charter will also be introduced from May 17 to clearly set out what is required of passengers and what their rights are while measures remain in place.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)



Tracking Fintech during COVID-19: Harnessing power of technology

Its abundantly clear now that as fintech cements its place in the financial sector, accelerated further by the COVID-19 pandemic, it could open the sector to new possibilities by harnessing the power of technology to deliver financial ...

Tectonic turns: How technology shaped healthcare over the decades

Tracing an episodic evolution, with technology at the interface of human and his health....

World Water Day sees crises of inequality in countries both rich and poor

... ...

Privacy and data protection: Reviewing notable policy frameworks

The evolved privacy principles and the resulting legislation across the world primarily aim to force the data collector to define the purpose for which the data is being collected along with the need to obtain explicit consent for the said ...


Latest News

Xavi Hernandez leads Al-Sadd into Asian Champions League

Xavi Hernandez was touted as a future coach of Barcelona even before leading Al-Sadd to the Qatar league title undefeated earlier this month. His chances will only improve if he can add the Asian Champions League title to his accomplishment...

COVID-19: Delhi's Kalkaji Temple to regulate number of devotees during Navratri through e-passes

In an effort to restrict the number of visitors amid rising COVID-19 numbers, the Kalkaji Temple in the national capital has introduced e-passes for the entry of devotees on the occasion of the Navratri. Elaborating on the newly-introduced ...

Punjab Kings is not for the light-hearted, says Rahul after thrilling win against RR

After registering a thrilling four-run victory over the Rajasthan Royals, Punjab Kings skipper KL Rahul said that his team is not for the light-hearted as they have a knack of producing nail-bitters. Sanju Samsons fighting hundred went in v...

Report: Manchester United looks to buy Australian team

Manchester United is reported to be interested in joining its English Premier League city rival and become a team owner Down Under in the A-League, although the chief executive of the Australian club is calling it nothing more than speculat...

Give Feedback