Simon Calder details likely requirements for international travel
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Boris Johnson has shared an update about foreign travel for Britons today. He has explained there will be new rules in place when travel opens up again.
Earlier this year, the Prime Minister laid out a “roadmap” of when coronavirus restrictions would lift in England.
Currently, all non-essential foreign travel is banned until May 17 at the earliest.
If the proposed date goes ahead, travel will be allowed in time for summer.
The Prime Minister said:”We set out our roadmap and we’re sticking to it. We want to stress we see nothing in the present data which shows we need to deviate from that.”
Speaking today, Mr Johnson explained he could not confirm this date, however.
He said: “We are hopeful we can get going from May 17 but I do not wish to give hostages to fortune or to underestimate the difficulties we are seeing in some of the countries people are wanting to go to.”
While many Britons are eager to hear if they can book their summer holiday, this may not be possible yet.
The Prime Minister stated he is hopeful about the reopening date next month.
However, this will not be confirmed until closer to the time.
He said: “Given the state of the pandemic abroad, and the progress of vaccination programmes in other countries, we are not yet in a position to confirm that non-essential international travel can resume from that point.
“Taking into account the latest situation with variants and the evidence about the efficacy of vaccines against them, we will confirm in advance whether non-essential international travel can resume on 17 May.
“Or whether we will need to wait longer before lifting the outbound travel restriction.”
If travel does go ahead next month, it is likely there will be travel restrictions put into place.
It is thought the Government could introduce a traffic light system, although this was not confirmed today.
This could reportedly take into consideration factors such as vaccination rates, numbers of infections and the ability to identify variants in different countries.
Taking this information into consideration, countries will be classed as “red”, “amber” or “green”, according to reports.
Each traffic light colour will come with different rules for travellers.
Those arriving from countries branded “green” may not be required to isolate, however tests will still be required.
Those coming from “amber” or “red” countries could face restrictions such as isolating.
Travellers from “amber” countries will need to isolate for 10 days, or they can pay for a test on day five.
Countries branded as “red” face the strictest restrictions with only British nationals able to travel from them.
They will also be required to isolate in a hotel on arrival.
Foreign travel has been on hold for the last few months due to the coronavirus lockdown.
Current restrictions mean Britons can face £5,000 fines if they travel without an acceptable reason.
These reasons include essential work, education, medical treatment, or to provide care for a vulnerable person.
When visiting countries like Spain, Britons could have to follow strict face mask rules.
This is because of new rules which state people in Spain must wear face coverings, even when outside at locations such as the beach and tourist spots.
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