It’s still too early to say whether people will be able to go on foreign holidays again this summer, Boris Johnson has said.
Giving an update on the nation on Covid plan, the Prime Minister said plans that may allow some travel again are ‘not there yet.’
The state of the pandemic abroad, and the progress of vaccination programmes in other countries means England may not allow international travel on May 17 as previously planned.
The update also confirmed that there would be a traffic light system to decide which countries will be able to resume quarantine-free travel to England.
This would give all countries a green, amber or red rating, with those deemed to be low risk becoming the destinations where the fewest restrictions are in place.
More detail on how this could work in practice is set to be announced later this month but no decisions have yet been made, Mr Johnson stressed.
It is understood that assessments of the risk in will be based on a range of factors, including the proportion of a country’s population which has been vaccinated, rates of infection, emerging new variants and the country’s access to reliable scientific data and genomic sequencing.
Travellers arriving from countries rated ‘green’ will not be required to isolate although pre-departure and post-arrival tests will still be needed.
For those arriving back in the UK from destinations classed as ‘amber’, a ten day self-isolation period still applies although this can be shortened if the person tests negative after five days.
Red restrictions remain the harshest and arrivals are required to quarantine at a designated hotel, as is the case currently.
People are being advised not to book any holidays until the full report of the Government’s global travel task force is released on April 12.
Many popular European travel destinations for UK tourists – including Spain and Italy – could be excluded from the green list as a third wave of the pandemic is spreading across the continent.