Experts have suggested that the UK traffic light system for international travel could be phased out in a matter of weeks – something that will delight vacationers frustrated by the complexities of regulations.
Currently, requirements vary depending on whether a traveler is arriving from a green, yellow or red location and whether or not they are fully vaccinated.
The lists are updated every three weeks, the next changes are due next week – a more comprehensive revision of the rules should be done by October 1st.
Travel Specialist Simon Calder said: “I think we could see the traffic light system being effectively phased out, especially since vaccination rates in the UK are fortunately so high now.
“It’s just assumed that everyone is vaccinated, so wherever you go, perhaps with a relatively small list of places, you don’t need to be quarantined.”
New rules might focus on travelers’ vaccination status rather than the Covid rating of the country they are visiting. Green and amber categories would be dumped, although red will remain with travelers who need to be quarantined at hotels on returning from high-risk destinations, it has been reported.
Any program to introduce countries with high and low risk status would bring Britain closer to other nations and focus travel on vacationer vaccination status. Ministers hope that it would provoke anyone who is not yet fully vaccinated to get vaccinated.
It is doubtful, however, that the need for PCR testing will be abandoned, despite calls for it to be replaced by cheaper lateral flow tests.
Paul Charles, founder of The PC Agency, tweeted, “The traffic light system is slated to be phased out by October 1 – finally. Airlines and some of us in the industry are aware of plans to create a simpler system where countries can either “are red or not. This would be the US model that I was asking for.
“The abolition of the traffic light system would be a relief for pretty much everyone and would herald a” life with an endemic “approach rather than blanket country measures.”
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British Airways Chief Executive Sean Doyle has previously said that the rules for coronavirus testing and quarantine need to be simplified for incoming travelers.
Mr. Doyle added, “We had the traffic light system in the summer. Some progress has been made. But I think it’s not practical.
“It needs to be adapted just as we see it in Europe and the US.”
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