After a long and difficult twelve months, the end does finally appear to be in sight, with the government implementing a traffic light system for countries as part of the risk-based approach of reopening international travel. High-risk destinations will be labelled as ‘Red’, moderate risk, ‘Amber’ and low risk, ‘Green’. The government have advised that a “Green Watchlist” will also be published in due course so that we can identify and monitor countries’ risk assessments – Let’s just hope by early May there are plenty of green lights at the end of the tunnel!
The growing optimism around travel is undeniable and we remain confident that many destinations will be given ‘Green Light’ status due to the highly effective roll out of vaccinations programmes and the low infection rates in the UK. It is likely there will be a few stumbles and missteps on the way, while the rest of the world catch us up with their own vaccine programme, but at least we can see where we’re heading. We want to be able to provide reassurance to get our clients away safely, securely and as soon as it is physically possible. Hopefully, we will be able to do just that, once we know which countries fall into which category of risk profile, but I’m heartened to hear that various tourism ministers are in discussion to reopen their borders to British tourists this summer onwards.
I am personally trying to contain any over-excitement, by not getting too carried away, as there is still a long way to go. We don’t want to make promises we can’t keep and have a repeat performance of the ‘okey cokey’ travel approach we had last year. Our first and foremost priority is the health and safety of our nation, not making hasty decisions and to encourage customers to book their travel with full confidence. We are still in that tunnel trying to find our way out safely and we can almost see that green light ahead.
We look forward to speaking to you very soon!
Below are the measures that will apply to different countries, based on their risk profile:
The Global Travel Task Force report mentions the affordability of coronavirus tests: ‘UK government recognises that the cost of these tests can be high. We will work with the travel industry and private testing providers ahead of international travel reopening to see how we can further reduce the cost of travel for the British public while ensuring travel is as safe as possible. This could include cheaper tests being used when holidaymakers return home, as well as whether the government would be able to provide pre-departure tests.’
The travel industry is asking the Government to implement a robust and affordable testing regime that will significantly reduce quarantine times and should regulate the maximum price that private providers can charge customers and/or allow and supply rapid lateral flow tests, as they are currently successfully used in schools and workplaces.
The Full Report
The Global Travel Task Force full report for the safe return to international travel is available via this link, click here and read the set of recommendations based on:
- progressing a risk-based reopening of international travel
- ensuring readiness for international travel restart
- building consumer clarity and confidence
- supporting a transition to future travel
- restarting international cruises