The traffic light system is to be revamped to allow fully jabbed travellers to visit other countries with similar vaccination levels without any need to quarantine.
The amber list will disappear, leaving a two-tier system of green and red. Unsafe countries will remain on the red list, and travellers returning to the UK from a red list country will still have to quarantine in a designated hotel at a cost of around £2,000,
The emphasis will now be on vaccination status rather than the destination. A source briefed on the proposal told The Telegraph:
“It’s about whether you are vaccinated or not, rather than the country you are travelling to.
“What it means is that green and amber disappear and only vaccination status will count for where you travel. For a vaccinated person, just as now all countries apart from red are ‘green’.”
The government are not willing to be drawn on the integrity of the report saying
“Our international travel policy is guided by one overwhelming priority – protecting public health.
The next formal checkpoint review will take place by 1 October 2021.”
Currently, British travellers can return from green list countries as long as they can show a negative Covid test, while only vaccinated Brits can skip the quarantine required from amber list countries. If the new system gets the green light, this could boost autumn travel and be a welcome relief for the beleaguered travel industry.
There are calls to review PCR tests which have been severely criticised for the high costs incurred – sometimes costing an extra £800 for a family of 5 – and delays in receiving results.
Unvaxxed Brits are likely to face hurdles to travel abroad and will have to quarantine for ten days on their return. But numbers of unvaccinated people are declining with the rise of the vaccination rollout. Most of the UK – more than 80 per cent of the adult population – is now double jabbed.
The next travel update is due on 16 September, though this could be too early to reveal the mechanics of the new system.