Boris Johnson: Data for lifting lockdown is 'ambiguous'
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Speaking ahead of an expected review of the UK Government’s traffic light travel system tomorrow, the Prime Minister appeared to indicate the small list of countries on the green list would be reduced. He said ministers “will have no hesitation” to move countries onto the amber or red list when necessary.
Arrivals into Britain from countries on the rest list are required to pay for 10 days quarantine in a specialised isolation hotel upon entering the country, while those coming from amber list countries are required to quarantine for 10 days at home.
While Brits are legally allowed to travel to those countries on the middle list, ministers have warned the public only to travel to amber countries is strictly necessary and not to fly there for holidays.
Speaking this afternoon Mr Johnson refused to be drawn on whether any countries would be added to the green list tomorrow but did comment on the Government’s willingness to remove countries from the tier.
He said: “You’ve got to wait and see what the join biosecurity centre say and what the recommendations are about travel.
“We’re going to try and allow for people to travel as I know that many people want to, but we’ve got to be cautious and we’ve got to continue to put countries on the red list, on the amber list, when that is necessary.
“I want you to know, we will have no hesitation in moving countries from the green list, to the amber list, to the red list, if we have to do so.
“The priority is to continue the vaccine rollout and to protect the people of this country.”
There are currently just 12 countries on the green list, with popular holiday destinations such as France and Spain currently stuck on amber.
Meanwhile, as many as 43 countries are currently on the red list due to the spread of worrying coronavirus variants.
Business leaders in the tourism sector were left disappointed at the small number of green list countries when it was first announced last month.
The Prime Minister’s suggestion the tier of quarantine free countries could be reduced will be a devastating development for the industry.
Earlier this week the CEO of Heathrow airport, John Holland-Kaye, pleaded with the Government to extend the green list.
He said cases in Spain were low and warned failure to act risked Brits travelling to the country against guidance.
The travel boss said: “I fear the Government is going to drag its feet on Spain.
“I think that will be a mistake and the reason for that is that very few people are flying in spite of all the hype we see.
“From the week before travel opened up with the first green countries, we went from 7,000 passengers departing a week to between 10,000 and 11,000. People were being very disciplined and following the guidance.
“If we don’t put Spain on the list soon, then people will face a dilemma. Do I not go on holiday at all and face another rainy summer in the UK? Or do I break the rules and go to an amber country against guidance? People don’t want to break the rules.”
More to follow…
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