Stop the madness of traveling! Boris is urged to get rid of the amber-list: “Families are completely confused”
Grant Shapps says UK being ‘cautious’ over travel list
It is feared that fewer people would travel on holiday to avoid a “amber watch” list, which lists countries at risk of becoming red. This will require quarantine after returning.
An official source from the Government confirmed that an “amber watchlist” could be made public.
According to reports, Spain and Italy were mentioned during talks regarding which countries might be included in the new category.
As the Government plans to review its “green” list of countries which can be visited, without quarantine upon return, there is anxiety.
Ministers face pressure from the public to remove the requirement that passengers be vaccinated and they are being accused of being too cautious, which could lead to job losses.
Tim Alderslade (chief executive at Airlines UK), condemned the idea of an amber watchlist.
He stated that “Cooking up another tier — sixth since Global Travel Taskforce’s publication — would be an additional blow in the middle of the peak summer season. The watchlist is Amber, and constant changes to it are a red flag for travelers.
The Government should focus its efforts on getting more countries to the green list. This is the best way to give the reassurance families need to escape.
He described the negative impact of travel testing and said that too many travelers are having to pay high-priced tests, which is essentially an additional tax. This makes it impossible for people to enjoy holidays or reunions. There is no reason that more countries around the globe, including Europe, shouldn’t be added to the green list. This will give travellers an extra boost, and support the thousands of jobs in travel, which are still in danger, in almost all constituencies.
According to the International Air Transport Association, airline bookings from and to the UK were 16 percent below 2019 levels in June. This is the lowest level among large European markets.
Henry Smith (Crawley Conservative MP) is the chair of the all-party Group for the Future Aviation. He warned the UK that an “unambitious Green List” was “holding it back”. The Government should “get Britain flying again.”
He stated that the government has the opportunity this week to become more ambitious as the end of summer approaches.
The Government must step up and increase the number of nations that are on the greenlist, as well as provide financial support for specific sectors.
Ryanair demanded the total abolition of traffic lights.
The spokesman stated that the UK Government needed to scrap the inefficient traffic light system and allow everyone to travel without restrictions.
“With the majority of the UK’s and EU’s adult population fully vaccinated, the UK is still lagging behind the rest of Europe in international travel and connectivity and it is crucial that Boris Johnson’s Government reacts now, abolish the traffic light system and give customers much-needed confidence to travel this summer.”
An Easyjet spokesman pressed for an end to the testing requirement for vaccinated travellers to countries on the green and amber lists, arguing this hiked up the cost of a holiday.
He stated that “Much Europe should be included to the greenlist as there are lower infections rates in Europe than the UK. It is safer to do this.” With some precautions, the rest of Europe will soon be free from the lockdown and can travel as normal.
For fully vaccinated travelers, it is important to remove testing for amber and low-risk countries. It remains an expensive and unneeded barrier that prevents many from being able to travel.
People returning from green-list countries must pass a Covid-19 screening before they can leave and provide proof that the test was negative. A test must be booked for the second day after they return.
Sources within the Government dismissed claims that tests should be cancelled, saying “testing isn’t going anywhere”.
Dominic Raab, the Foreign Secretary of Dominic Raab, encouraged optimism by stating last week that he is “increasingly certain” more countries would go on either amber or green.
It also indicated its willingness to restore air connections with key markets by announcing that people who have been fully vaccinated in both the United States and Europe will now be able travel from Amber countries to England starting tomorrow (MONAUG 2) without the need to undergo quarantine.
Karen Dee (CEO of the Airport Operators Association) warned about the danger to the UK’s economy if there are no jobs in the aviation sector.
She pushed for additional countries to join the green list, and called for industry support. We need to see the Government step up and increase the number of countries on the greenlist and support specific sectors. This has a major impact on our airports’ financial health.
“Without this support over the coming months many jobs in aviation will be put at risk, our national recovery will be stalled and the Government’s ‘global Britain’ and levelling up priorities will be left in tatters.”
Pressure to ditch the restrictions is also coming from the Institute of Economic Affairs, a highly influential right of centre think tank.
Andy Mayer, chief operating officer said that there is no reason to maintain expensive travel restrictions when even the gloomy predictions of public health officials for autumn are accurate. Normal travel is considered to be ‘at your own risk’. You are responsible for making adjustments for any health issues. You can return to normal.
“If minimal restrictions are still required for this summer, they need to be sensible and justified…
Red listing should not be limited to case numbers, but new variants. The government must stop selling a policy fantasy about safe zones that is purely political.
“This is just increasing public anxiety while causing serious economic harm to an industry already on their knees.”
The confusion is causing chaos for travelers and the airlines are determined to get rid of it.
Claire Walker, the co-executive Director of British Chambers of Commerce said that there shouldn’t be any hesitation adding countries to the amber or green lists, if it proves safe.
Munira Wilson, the Liberal Democrat health spokeswoman, pressed for clarity.
She stated that: “Throughout the pandemic we have all torn out at the Government making new guidance on how to hoof. The endless, random tier system of last year and the confusing and inconsistent colour-coded advice for travel this summer are just a few examples.
“We have already seen the introduction of Amber Plus, and if the Government keeps adding different categories, it will make a mockery of their attempt to keep guidance simple.
We must treat all Britons who will be travelling abroad next week with respect. Next week, Britons will be travelling to the UK.
The system was defended by a Government spokesperson who stated that the traffic light system “plays an important part in ensuring that we can protect and open travel safesty and sustainably while also protecting the public’s health.” Recognizing the challenges facing this sector, we committed approximately PS7billion to support it by September 2021. We continue working with the industry to assist them through this challenging period .”
Henry Smith MP is Chair of All-Party Parliamentary Group for Future Aviation
It was a welcome development that fully-vaccinated passengers flying from Europe or the USA to the UK will no longer be subject to quarantine.
Our aviation and travel industry remain grounded. These industries were among the first to suffer the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. They will also be the last to rebound, as passenger numbers remain at their lowest point in history. Businesses have lost billions of dollars and many jobs were eliminated as a result.
Our overly cautious approach towards international travel has resulted in the risk to these companies and their employees remaining very real. Over half of aviation workers are still on furlough, and the UK is held back by an unambitious greenlist.
To help the aviation and travel industries, it is best to see Britain fly again. The Government will have an opportunity this week to become even more ambitious as we approach the end of the summer.
This will be a positive step for the industry but it won’t do enough. The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme must be extended to specific sectors in order to protect workers after a poor season, which would normally mean a peak.
As we seek to recover from the pandemic, our travel and aviation industry will have to remain fit. However, the government must provide sufficient support to enable it to change its current attitude.
Publited Sat, 31 July 2021 at 19:33:09 +0000