Global Travel Taskforce sets out framework to reopen international travel

Global Travel Taskforce sets out framework to reopen international travel

Please note: this article was published on 9th April 2021, the information below may now be out of date. For the latest information, visit our Recovery & Support Hub here.

framework to chart the safe return of international travel has been set out today (9 April 2021) by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.

A traffic light system, which will categorise countries based on risk alongside the restrictions required for travel, will be set up to protect the public and the vaccine rollout from international COVID-19 variants.

Key factors in the assessment will include:

– the percentage of their population that have been vaccinated

– the rate of infection

– the prevalence of variants of concern

– the country’s access to reliable scientific data and genomic sequencing

The report, produced by the Global Travel Taskforce, shows how international travel could resume from 17 May 2021 at the earliest, in an accessible and affordable way. This includes the removal of the permission to travel form – meaning passengers would no longer need to prove they have a valid reason to leave the country.

The risks posed by these variants remain significant, and restrictions for inbound passengers, such as 10-day managed quarantine, home quarantine, and stringent testing will remain in place – but will apply to people differently depending on whether the destination visited is categorised as ‘green’, ‘amber’ or ‘red’.

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 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 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

Testing remains an essential part of protecting public health as restrictions begin to ease – with all arrivals who are not exempt required to book a pre-departure, day 2 and day 8 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.

Testing post-arrival remains an important tool in our wider measures to manage the risk of imported cases – allowing us to monitor positive tests and ensure people isolate, as well as identify and genomically sequence variants of concern.

It is too early to predict which countries will be on which list over the summer, and the government continues to consider a range of factors to inform the restrictions placed on them. The government will set out by early May which countries will fall into which category, as well as confirming whether international travel can resume from 17 May 2021.

Click here to read more.

Responding to the publication of the Global Travel Taskforce Framework for International Travel, British Chambers of Commerce Director of Policy James Martin said:

“The sector has been hard hit in the last year, with prolonged uncertainty about when the full resumption of travel will be possible. This framework provides some welcome clarity however much uncertainty remains around what countries will be on the green list come May 17th.

“The PCR tests required under the guidelines will also prove costly for many travellers, harming those businesses and supply chains who rely on international travel to trade.

“The government must redouble their efforts to provide further clarity on the green list as quickly as possible and ensure PCR test are affordable and accessible to all”.

"The government must redouble their efforts to provide further clarity on the green list as quickly as possible and ensure PCR test are affordable."

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