Summer holidays could be on the cards after all.
Foreign holidays have been very much viewed as a pipe dream throughout 2021, with fines handed out to those that undertook “non-essential travel”. As summer approaches, however, that could all be about to change. May 17 marks the next stages of the UK’s roadmap out of lockdown and – along with openings to indoor hospitality, museums and more – a slow return to the hallowed summer holiday may begin. [Featured Image: Patryk Kosmider, Shutterstock].
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has suggested that some foreign travel will see some “opening up”, come May 17, while noting the importance of remaining cautious. Full details are on the way, but it was stressed that “we have got to be very, very tough” when handling the return of international travel as we know it. Any changes will depend solely on the current data on Covid-19 in the UK and across the world.
When foreign travel does eventually return, a traffic light system will be introduced, placing countries in the red, amber or green zones. Upon returning from a green country, travellers won’t have to quarantine but will be required to take a Covid test.
Traffic light system
The Department of Travel currently labels each traffic light 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 2 of their arrival back into England – 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 2 and day 8 with the option for Test to Release on day 5 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 2 and 8
The Government is due to release its “green list” of countries as soon as this week, with Portugal and Malta thought to be included on the list of 10 or 12 countries. Both The Times and The Guardian have suggested that Greece and Spain could be added to the list by the end of June.
Boris Johnson said: “We do want to do some opening up on 17 May but I don’t think the people of this country want to see an influx of disease from anywhere else.
“I certainly don’t and we have got to be very, very tough and have got to be as cautious as we can whilst we continue to open up.”
A full announcement on foreign travel is expected this week.