Travel: Experts slam taskforce report on summer holidays
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Holidays are due to resume once again from May 17. To continue the battle against Covid, the UK Government will allocate “traffic light” categories to foreign countries. Green list nations will be exempt from quarantine, but travellers must take a PCR test within two days of arrival.
Red and amber destinations will require quarantine and strict testing.
However, exactly which countries will be on which list is not yet been unveiled.
The Global Travel Taskforce unveiled its roadmap on April 9 but has attracted criticism for its lack of clarity.
“Passengers were hoping that the Government report was going to tell them when they could go abroad and where they could go on holiday this summer,” Brian Sutton, general secretary of pilot’s association Balpa told Sky News on Wednesday morning.
“But the report that came out the other day, the Government called it a roadmap but I’ve never seen a roadmap with all of the destinations blanked out.”
Today, Robert Courts, the aviation minister, addressed MPs on the Transport Select Committee and revealed Britons will still need to wait weeks to find out the details of the green list.
“In the early part of May we’ll be able to give some more detail,” Courts said.
“We are giving as much notice as we can.”
The minister added it was “too early” to provide the information on which countries would be green at this stage.
Transport Select Committee chair Huw, who is Conservative MP for Bexhill and Battle, hit back: ”This all seems a rather clever way of making sure people aren’t flying by 17 May because it’s too difficult to do so.”
However, Courts replied: “We are trying to protect public health. I want to see people flying again.”
Nevertheless, he encouraged Britons to begin booking their holidays.
“We can say that people can start looking to book,” Courts confirmed.
A number of travel experts have shared their insight into which countries will most likely be green in recent weeks.
Travel consultant Paul Charles previously predicted “islands in the Caribbean, for example, Malta, Gibraltar and possibly the USA,” would also “go green by next month”.
Looking further into the summer, the popular European holiday destinations will most likely make a return, too, despite the third wave concerns on the continent right now.
“I’m expecting later in the summer, probably from some time in July, but that’s just a prediction, maybe Spain, Portugal, Croatia, Italy, Greece, ad Cyprus will be on the green list and the testing will be a lot easier and cheaper,” travel expert Simon Calder told Radio 2 yesterday.
The details of which each ‘traffic light’ colour will mean are as follows:
Green: arrivals 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 England – 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.
Amber: arrivals 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 Test to Release on day five to end self-isolation early.
Red: arrivals will be subject to restrictions currently in place for ‘red list’ countries which include a 10-day stay in a managed quarantine hotel, pre-departure testing and PCR testing on day two and eight.
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