UK’s Traffic Light System to End

UK’s Traffic Light System to End

It has been reported that the UK’s widely criticised traffic light system governing international travel could be scrapped by next month.

It will be replaced by a new system based on the vaccination status of travellers rather than the COVID infection rates of the destination.

This would mean that green and amber would disappear as separate categories, and the red list would remain as travellers from high-risk areas are still required to quarantine in government-approved hotels upon return to the UK. 

At present, fully vaccinated holidaymakers can already travel to amber countries without having to quarantine on their return after the government dropped the requirement to self-isolate.

The British Government has not given any indication as to when the traffic light system could end.

Some experts have predicted the restrictions could be scrapped as early as this month, but this appears unlikely, with the next review scheduled for just over a week’s time.

Paul Charles, CEO of the PC Agency, who has been sharing industry updates throughout the pandemic, marked 1 October as the key date. 

He stated on Twitter:

The traffic light system is expected to be scrapped by 1st Oct – at last. Airlines and some of us in the sector are aware of plans to create a simpler system, where countries are either red or not. This would be the US model in effect, which I’ve been calling for.

A simplified high-risk and low-risk classification for countries would bring the UK more in line with other nations, and focus travel on the vaccination status of the travellers.

The Next UK Travel Update

The traffic-light system is being reviewed every three weeks, with announcements on Wednesdays or Thursdays.

The most recent review was on 26 August, meaning the next one is expected on either 15 or 16 September.

Major European destinations such as Spain, France, Italy, Greece and Portugal are again likely to remain on the amber list, which means fully vaccinated people can continue to visit them without having to quarantine.

There are fears that Jamaica is at risk of being added to the red list after the Foreign Office updated its guidance to advise against all non-essential travel to the Caribbean island.

There will also be plenty of attention on Turkey and Pakistan, both of which were speculated to be moved to the amber list at the last review.

Do you agree with ending the traffic light system for international travel? Talk to us in the comment section below.

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