Holidays 2021: Global Travel Taskforce report says ‘international travel to resume May 17’ | Travel News | Travel
Holidays received a much-needed boost today with the news jet-setting will be back next month. A framework to chart the safe return of international travel was set out today by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps. The report, produced by the Global Travel Taskforce, shows how “international travel could resume from May 17, 2021, at the earliest, in an accessible and affordable way.”
A ‘green watchlist’ will also be introduced to help identify countries most at risk of moving from ‘green’ to ‘amber’.
The watchlist is intended to provide greater assurance for those who wish to travel abroad.
“While the watchlist will warn travellers of potential changes in advance, the government will not hesitate to act immediately should the data show that countries risk ratings have changed,” the report warned.
The rules for each traffic light colour as follows:
Green: arrivals will need to take a pre-departure test as well as a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test on or before day two of their arrival back into the UK – but will not need to quarantine on return (unless they receive a positive result) or take any additional tests, halving the cost of tests on their return from holiday
Amber: arrivals will need to quarantine for a period of 10 days and take a pre-departure test, and a PCR test on day two and day eight with the option for Test to Release on day five to end self-isolation early
Red: arrivals will be subject to restrictions currently in place for ‘red list’ countries which include a 10-day stay in a managed quarantine hotel, pre-departure testing and PCR testing on day two and eight.
Despite easing restrictions, Covid testing remains vital.
All arrivals who are not exempt will be required to book a pre-departure, day two and day eight test before travelling.
“Arrivals travelling from ‘red list’ countries should book a quarantine package before departure, and arrivals from ‘amber’ and ‘green’ countries will be required to book test packages before travelling from one of the government’s approved list of providers,” said the Government.
It has not yet been made clear which countries will be on the green, amber and red list.
These will be set out “by early May,” said today’s report.
Many have slammed how expensive holidays can become with the number of Covid tests needed to travel.
However, the Government said it is working with the travel industry and private testing providers ahead of international travel reopening, to see how they 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.
Rory Boland, editor of Which? Travel, commented on the news: “This is an important step towards resuming international travel. The report correctly identifies some of the key barriers facing travellers, but it falls short in providing solutions.
“Holidaymakers will still face the eye-watering costs of Covid tests, which are currently much more expensive in the UK than in many other European countries, and risk pricing people out of taking a holiday.
“There is also little detail on reassurances that destinations won’t suddenly be moved from green to amber or red, putting travellers at risk of last-minute changes and unaffordable quarantine costs.
“It is encouraging to hear plans to give the CAA greater powers to tackle the consistent lawbreaking we saw on refunds from some airlines in the last year. These must be sufficiently tough, and give the ability to fine airlines directly for past behaviour to ensure they won’t step out of line again.”