Boris Johnson urges ‘patience’ over travel restrictions
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The Government has issued an update on the travel list just in time for people going away for the bank holiday weekend. This travel update has seen some countries moved to the green and red list but no new countries have been included on the amber list. However, many have have found the changes “deeply disappointing” as only seven countries have been added to the green list.
New green list additions:
Red List additions:
No countries have been added to the amber list.
The new changes will come into effect on Monday August 30 at 4am.
The UK travel list is updated every three weeks although it was predicted not many changes would take place in this review.
It was expected popular holiday destinations Spain, Greece, Cyprus, Portugal and Malta were going to stay on their current lists.
Turkey and Maldives have remained on the red list, despite travel experts predicted their move to amber.
However, Montenegro and Thailand weren’t expected to be added to the red list.
The Government said the decision is due to “the increased case rates in these countries and the higher risk that travel from these countries poses to UK public health”.
A statement said: “The high rates combined with lower levels of published genomic surveillance in Thailand and Montenegro than other countries, mean that an outbreak of a new variant or existing variants of concern (VOC) or variants under investigation (VUI) cannot be easily identified before it is imported and seeded across the UK.”
Many have taken to social media to comment on the new changes.
“Deeply disappointing that the UK continues to keep the Maldives on the red list despite low case numbers & high vaccination rates. We have just started regular genome sequencing too. Perhaps it came too late for this review?” said one user.
“If that’s right just read Turkey still on the red list is a joke this Government don’t care about the travel industry when even India is on the amber list this is definitely political,” commented another one.
“Still expecting a valid explanation as to why TURKEY REMAINS RED.
“There is nothing humanitarian about jailing people in a single hotel room for 10 days; there are babies, postpartum moms, elders, disabled, people who are going back home to receive medical treatment… Empathy!”
Another said: “I don’t want to stay imprisoned in a hotel room for 10 days when I’m fully vaccinated. There’s no logic behind it!”
“Could we get some transparency on the exact reasons and comparative parameters of why Turkey is still red-listed?” commented another one.
Travellers can visit green list destinations restriction-free and don’t have to quarantine on their way back to the UK.
When coming back from an amber list destination, fully-jabbed travellers don’t have to quarantine. However, non-vaccinated travellers have to self-isolate for 10 days on their return and pay for at least three Covid tests.
Anyone coming from a red list country has to quarantine in a designated hotel at their own expense.
A spokesman for Airlines UK said the “small number of green destinations” is making international travel “more expensive, burdensome and uncertain compared to our neighbours”.
“Too many families are having to look over their shoulders for rule changes and pay through the nose for tests, with no sign from Government that this will change. As has already happened across Europe, it’s time for a more proportionate system where tests are dropped for the fully-vaccinated and from destinations where Covid risks are low, with tougher measures targeted at a small number of high risk countries,” he said.
Sean Doyle, British Airways’ Chairman and CEO commented: “Despite our world-leading vaccination programme the UK’s economic recovery remains far behind our more pragmatic European neighbours, which are already reaping the rewards of a rapid recovery. We also need to urgently end the uncertainty caused by the constant threat of changes to countries’ traffic light status. Our ‘green’ list is much smaller than that of the US and EU, despite no new variants being transported into the UK.”
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