Travel traffic light system could be ‘scrapped’ and replaced with new two-tier rules

Traffic light system could be ‘scrapped’ by October predict experts

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A new two-tier system of regulations could replace the current UK travel traffic light by October 1. The traffic light regulations have been unpopular with travellers and the travel industry.

Currently double-vaccinated travellers can travel to countries on the Government’s amber list without having to isolate on their return.

However, they must provide a negative test before leaving as well as take a PCR test on or before day two after arrival.

Popular destinations including Spain, France, Greece and Portugal are all on the amber list at the moment.

Double-vaccinated and unvaccinated passengers can travel to countries on the UK’s green list without isolating on their return.

The proposed changes to the travel traffic light system would see the amber and green categories be combined to create a new two-tier system.

Travelling to a red list country would still require passengers to isolate in a quarantine hotel.

Countries currently on the Government’s red list include Turkey, South Africa, Egypt and Thailand.

The new system is expected to be announced by October 1, which will come as a relief to many in the travel industry.

The proposed two-tier travel system is likely to mostly impact unvaccinated travellers, as the system would focus on vaccination status.

Currently unvaccinated passengers must self-isolate on return from an amber list country for 10 days and then take two post-arrival tests.

The new travel rules are expected to follow the deadline for the end of the UK’s vaccination rollout.

Everyone over the age of 18 in the UK will have been offered both their vaccinations by the end of September.

A two-tier system would bring the UK more in line with much of the rest of Europe, where double jabbed passengers do not have to provide negative tests on their return.

Portugal, Greece, Spain and France are among the countries that do not require negative test results from double vaccinated passengers.

The Government’s travel traffic light system has caused “passenger confidence to be shattered” according to Gatwick’s CEO, Stewart Wingate.

He called for testing to be removed altogether for double-jabbed passengers to help tourists feel confident travelling.

Paul Charles, chief executive of travel PR firm, the PC Agency, tweeted: “Scrapping the traffic light system would be a relief to pretty well everyone and herald a ‘living with an endemic’ approach rather than blanket country measures.

“Would be a relief to countries in Africa, South America and Asia which don’t deserve to be red-listed.”

A Government spokesperson said: “Our international travel policy is guided by one overwhelming priority – protecting public health.

“The next formal checkpoint review will take place by October 1, 2021.”

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