International Travel - Government Taskforce Report - MIDAS Travel
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Returning to international travel: Global Travel Taskforce publishes new framework

In an effort to reopen international travel, the UK Government has released its Global Travel Taskforce Report. The report includes a proposed framework and timeline of activity. 

The Government announced it will introduce a ‘traffic light system’ for international destinations. Countries will be  assigned individual risk levels of ‘green’, ‘amber’ or ‘red’. Assigned status will be based on ongoing factors, including:

  • percentage of population vaccinated
  • rate of infection
  • prevalence of high-risk variants, and
  • the country’s access to reliable scientific data and genomic sequencing

International Travel

TRAFFIC LIGHT SYSTEM 

The framework focuses on the introduction of a traffic light system:

Green: arrivals will need to take a pre-departure test as well as a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test on or before day two of their arrival back into the UK. But, they 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 ten days and take a pre-departure test. They will need to take a PCR test on day two and day eight, with the option for Test to Release on day five to end self-isolation early.

Red: arrivals will be subject to restrictions currently in place for ‘red list’ countries. These include a ten-day stay in a managed quarantine hotel, pre-departure testing and PCR testing on day two and eight.

GREEN WATCHLIST 

In addition, there will also be a ‘green watchlist’ compiled of countries identified as ‘at risk of moving from green to amber’ status. This should enable anyone planning to book international travel to make a better-informed decision.

However, all statuses are subject to change should a situation arise whereby the Government deems it necessary to add a country to the ‘red list’, for example.

ONGOING REVIEW 

The Government has also committed to reviewing the following:

  • reducing the cost of travel for the British public, while ensuring travel is as safe as possible
  • identifying ways to produce cheaper PCR tests
  • removing the permission to travel form (possibly by digitising and integrating this into the UK border system)
  • taking a lead role in developing a global solution for digital travel certification

The Government will publish official updates on 31 July and 1 October. In the meantime, the MIDAS Travel team will continue to monitor progress and keep travellers informed.

Announcing the framework, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said:

“International travel is vital – it boosts businesses and underpins the UK economy – but more than that, it brings people together, connects families who have been kept apart, and allows us to explore new horizons.

The framework announced today will help allow us to reopen travel safely and sustainably, ensure we protect our hard-won achievements on the vaccine roll out, and offer peace of mind to both passengers and industry as we begin to take trips abroad once again.”

In response to the ongoing pandemic, MIDAS Travel has invested in the provision of new technology to help keep travellers safe. With interactive maps, clients can identify real-time COVID status and risk levels for destination countries. In addition, all clients are kept up to date with the latest official guidance and advice via our travel experts.

USEFUL LINKS

MIDAS Travel consultants advise all travellers and bookers on any changes affecting their trips. Should MIDAS clients wish to find out more, please contact your travel team. For any other enquiries, get in touch.