When is the next travel update? Brits angry at latest announcement – ‘one big joke’

GMB: Sean Fletcher grills Grant Shapps on ‘chaotic’ travel strategy

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The Government has been keeping strict tabs on international travel as the UK exits lockdown measures, with a traffic light system indicating which countries are safe to travel to. Rules have been changing recently as more Brits are fully vaccinated, however, Wednesday’s travel update was met with anger from travellers and the travel industry alike.

In the update, it was announced Austria, Germany, Slovenia, Slovakia, Latvia, Romania and Norway are all to be on England’s green list for low-risk travel from 4am BST on August 8.

France will no longer be regarded as ‘Amber plus’ meaning those who are fully vaccinated don’t have to isolate upon returning to the UK.

India, Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates will shift from the red list to the amber list from August 8.

And Mexico, Georgia and the French overseas territories of La Reunion and Mayotte will join the red list.

Read More: Grant Shapps blasted on GMB over ‘flip-flopping’ of travel rules

When is the next travel update?

The review of the travel lists takes place every three weeks, which would mean the next announcement is due around August 25.

Changes then come into force three to four days later, so would be implemented around August 29.

The Government has been urged to do more by the travel industry, with summer holidays fast disappearing.

Mark Tanzer, head of Abta, the travel association said France becoming amber was “positive”.

However, he warned the Government is “failing to capitalise fully on the success of the vaccine rollout” with a “very cautious” approach to the green list and “failure to relax restrictions on travel, including requirements for multiple tests even when visiting low risk destinations.”

Mr Tanzer said: “As a result, the UK is falling behind our European competitors and the opening up of international travel from the UK is progressing at a snail’s pace – making it extremely difficult for travel agents and tour operators to generate enough income to kickstart a recovery, which is desperately needed to protect jobs, businesses and livelihoods.”

And Brits have been expressing their anger at the update on social media.

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Writing on Twitter, one person bemoaned Pakistan being kept on the red list: “The travel list is really disappointing.

“On 4 August Pakistan has around 4 thousands new covid-19 cases while India reported more than 42 thousands. Where is science? The decision is based on ?.

“This is disgraceful that Pakistan is still on red list. It must be reviewed.”

Another argued African red list countries should be moved to green writing: “African red list countries totally ignored again despite the low rates, much lower than many of the green list countries”.

And a third simply wrote: “The travel lists are currently one big joke”

For countries on the red list, any arrivals back to the UK must isolate in a Government-mandated hotel for 10 days.

In a further blow to travellers, the cost of isolating in a hotel will increase for solo travellers from August 12 from £1,750 to £2,285.

Any additional adults sharing a room will see their costs increase from £650 to £1,430.

The Government said these prices “better reflect the increased costs involved”.

The rules don’t apply across the UK, as devolved nations have control over their own amber, red and green lists of countries as well as the rules around quarantine upon return.

Scotland and Northern Ireland have, however, followed England in introducing the same travel relaxations

But the changes drew criticism from the Welsh Government which is still advising against “all but essential” travel abroad, and those who have been to a red list country cannot even enter until they have completed 10 days of quarantine in England or Scotland first.

In a statement, a spokesman for the Welsh Government said: “We have long called for a clearer system of rules regarding international travel.

“The ad-hoc nature of the decisions made by the UK Government on the issue does little to instil confidence or provide clarity for travellers.

“We continue to advise against all but essential travel abroad because of the continuing risk of infection, including with new variants of coronavirus which may not respond to our vaccines.

“We will consider the latest changes announced by the UK Government.”

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