Traffic light system could be ‘scrapped’ by October predict experts
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Hopeful holidaymakers may have been put off by the ever-changing traffic light list, which has seen countries move from green to amber and even red in rapid succession. Yet, Simon Calder and Paul Charles shared their predictions for the future of the traffic light list on their Travel Radio show.
Currently, different quarantine and testing rules are in place depending on the category a destination is.
However, even if a country is, for example, on the green list and therefore quarantine-free, there is no guarantee these rules will remain.
In recent months, travellers have faced a scramble to get home from the likes of Portugal and France before fresh self-isolation rules were brought into force – often with only a matter of days to acquire new flights.
Simon remains optimistic though, that these rules could come to an end as early as September.
“I think we might see the traffic light system effectively being scrapped particularly with thankfully vaccination rates in the UK now being so high,” he explained.
“It will just be assumed that everyone is vaccinated and therefore wherever you are going, perhaps with a relatively small list of places, you won’t need to quarantine.”
The travel expert has shown “confidence” that September is a “milestone date” for travel to open up.
He continued: “I just think for the UK the game is up.
“We have had such incredibly laboured explanations as to why places have been moved from one category to another which don’t quite seem to tally with reality.
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“I think everyone is just exhausted and if they can just say basically go where you like but you are going to be tested and you have got to be fully jabbed I think that would be [it].”
While co-host Paul Charles, CEO of the PC Agency, said he “agreed” change is set to come, he believes “October 1” will be the key date.
“I think it could come on October 1, which is the next milestone date in the review of the travel Task Force,” he said.
“They always need to announce something at these big reviews.”
Currently, there are 20 countries on the green list and 17 on the green watchlist, meaning they are “at risk of moving from green to amber” according to the UK Government.
Holidaymakers currently do not face quarantine upon return from these destinations, though are subject to a pre-departure test and a test on day two of their arrival.
The same rules are in place for fully-vaccinated arrivals coming to the UK from one of the 133 amber list destinations.
Red list rules, including mandatory hotel quarantine, are in place for 60 countries.
However, Mr Charles believes these rules should be overhauled in favour of something more akin to the “US system”.
“Some have been arguing, including myself, that we should follow the US system outbound, which is essentially that you let your fully jabbed citizens go wherever they are allowed to go, and then just take a pre-departure test when they come back to the US and not have to quarantine,” he said.
“If it works for the US it should work here.
“[We have the] same vaccines. Maybe not AstraZeneca but certainly Pfizer and Moderna.
“The US is getting on with. They have found this happy medium between the health priorities and the economic needs that all the airlines and travel industry need.”
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