Review of travel rules to come in weeks as green and amber lists could be axed

By Lizzy Buchan

The traffic light system for foreign travel could be overhauled within weeks amid speculation that the green and amber lists could be scrapped.

Officials will conduct a formal review of the rules on overseas travel by October 1, which will examine the system of designating countries as red, amber or green due to the Covid-19 risk.

The assessment - which is separate to the regular updates of which countries go on each list - will take in advice from experts from the Joint Biosecurity Centre and "wider public health factors".

Green and amber categories could be axed to simplify the system, which already allows double jabbed travellers to avoid quarantine, according to the BBC.

However the red list is likely to remain in place, meaning travellers from high risk countries would still be required to quarantine.

Travel operators are keen to reduce testing requirements for holidaymakers (Getty)

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It is understood that no decisions have been made on what changes could take place but the review could come ahead of October 1.

Under the current rules, Brits returning from green list destinations need to take a Covid test before arriving in the UK and on their second day back in the country. They must also fill in a passenger locator form.

The rules for amber list countries are the same for vaccinated people after the Government said fully jabbed Brits no longer need to quarantine.

Non-vaccinated people returning from amber list countries must quarantine at home for 10 days and take PCR tests on day 2 and day 8.

Red list arrivals must stay for 10 days in a Government-backed quarantine hotel.

Senior travel industry leaders have reportedly been asked to make proposals to replace the current traffic light system.

One industry source told the BBC: "Removing PCR testing for vaccinated passengers is essential. We have to align ourselves with what the rest of Europe are doing and stop being such an outlier."

The timing of the review is in line with the moment the Government aims to have offered all over-18s both vaccines.

A Government spokesperson said: “Our international travel policy is guided by one overwhelming priority – protecting public health.

"Decisions on our traffic light system are kept under regular review and are informed by the latest risk assessment from the Joint Biosecurity Centre and wider public health factors.

“The next formal checkpoint review will take place by 1 October 2021.”


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