Page Nav


Gradient Skin




UK to classify travel destinations in May

London:  It will be in early May when Britain will confirm whether it will allow international travel from May 17 and which countries will f...

It will be in early May when Britain will confirm whether it will allow international travel from May 17 and which countries will fall into the red, amber or green categories in a new traffic light system based on Covid-19 risks.

Giving fresh details of how it hopes to allow people to travel this summer, the government's Global Travel Taskforce also said they were working on developing a certification system, referred to as “vaccine passports", for inbound and outbound travel.

Britain has been gradually emerging from a strict winter lockdown prompted by a huge surge in Covid-19 cases and deaths. As of now international travel is banned except under specific circumstances defined by the government.

Covid-19 cases have dropped drastically since the January peak, and one of the government's top priorities is to avoid undermining the success of the national Covid-19 vaccination programme by importing vaccine-resistant variants from abroad.

Till now, over 31.8 million people in the UK have got at least one dose of the vaccine, while 6.1 million have received two, in one of the fastest mass vaccination campaigns in the world.

"The framework announced today will help allow us to reopen travel safely and sustainably, ensure we protect our hard-won achievements on the vaccine rollout and offer peace of mind to both passengers and industry as we begin to take trips abroad once again," said transport secretary Grant Shapps.

Airlines, travel companies and members of the public keen to plan their summer holidays have been putting pressure on the government to explain what the rules would be.

Under the new traffic light system, restrictions such as hotel quarantine, home quarantine and compulsory Covid tests will apply differently depending on which category of country a passenger has come from.

There will be a "green watchlist" identifying countries most at risk of moving from green to amber, though the government said it would not hesitate to change a country's category at short notice should the data show the risk had increased.

The taskforce recommended removing a "permission to travel form" currently required, meaning passengers would no longer need to prove they had a valid reason for leaving Britain.

It also said it was working with the travel industry and with private Covid-19 test providers to reduce the cost of travel for the British public.

Under current rules, free testing provided by the National Health Service is not available for the purpose of travel, as a result passengers are forced to turn to private providers who charge high fees for tests.

The taskforce indicated that a digital travel certification system would be part of the plan. (Agencies)

No comments