Foreign holidays ‘not a good idea’ as holidaymakers jet off to ‘green’ list countries

International travel 'not a priority' claims SAGE expert

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The easing of lockdown rules means that holidaymakers can travel to countries around the world adhering to the Government’s traffic light system. Countries on the “green” list require no quarantine on return while destinations on the “amber” list require a mandatory 10-day isolation period on return.

Countries on the “green” list include Portugal, Gibraltar, Iceland, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand.

The Faroe Islands, Saint Helena, South Sandwich Islands and Brunei Darussalam are also on the list.

A pre-departure coronavirus test is required as well as one on return into the UK.

Countries on the “amber” list include Antigua and Barbuda, Brazil, Colombia, India, Kenya, Peru and South Africa.

Holidaymakers travelling to “amber” countries are also required to take a pre-departure test as well as one on return.

Although international travel is no longer illegal, some experts have warned against foreign holidays this year.

One leading University of Oxford professor has said that foreign holidays are “not a good idea” and people should visit places in this country like Cornwall and Bournemouth.

This was echoed by Health Secretary Matt Hancock, who said people should not go to “amber” countries like Italy, Spain and Greece unless the visit was “absolutely necessary”.

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Sir John, a member of the vaccine taskforce, said that the infection rate globally was still going up, meaning “having people flying around and coming back with whatever local variant they may get is not a good idea. 

“People have to get used to the fact that Cornwall and Bournemouth [are] not that bad.”

These comments come after many have been left annoyed about the decision to leave India on the “amber” list despite the variant rapidly speaking. 

Speaking on ITV’s Good Morning Britain this morning, SAGE public health expert professor Gabriel Scally also said that international travel is not a priority.

He said: “We shouldn’t shut down the borders but what we should do is make sure that when people are coming into the UK and Ireland is that they are properly quarantined for a proper period and that’s something unfortunately we haven’t done.

“It’s something I’ve been advocating for a very long time and as a result we’ve had this Indian variant arrive, highly infectious, causing real problems in the North West of England in particular and could cause many more problems.

Speaking on Times Radio, Matt Hancock was asked if he agreed with Sir John’s comment.

The Health Secretary replied: “What I would say is that people should not travel to ‘amber’ or ‘red’ countries unless it is absolutely necessary and certainly not for holiday purposes.”

These comments come after many have been left annoyed about the decision to leave India on the “amber” list despite the variant rapidly speaking. 

Speaking on ITV’s Good Morning Britain this morning, SAGE public health expert professor Gabriel Scally also said that international travel is not a priority.

He said: “We shouldn’t shut down the borders but what we should do is make sure that when people are coming into the UK and Ireland is that they are properly quarantined for a proper period and that’s something unfortunately we haven’t done.

“It’s something I’ve been advocating for a very long time and as a result we’ve had this Indian variant arrive, highly infectious, causing real problems in the North West of England in particular and could cause many more problems.

“We should remember that we’ve only got about 50 percent of the population vaccinated at the moment.

“International travel is not a priority and is something that we should be avoiding except for essential travel.”

The lift on international travel saw hundreds of travellers jetting off for their holidays today with pictures showing holidaymakers queuing for flights to destinations like Portugal.

Tim Alderslade, chief executive of Airlines UK, said: “The regulations do not say it is illegal to travel to ‘amber’ so the government should not be suggesting or imitating it is. That just leads to confusion and passengers not knowing what they can and can’t do.”

Speaking on Good Morning Britain today, British Airways CEO, Sean Doyle reassured customers that the correct procedures were being followed with deep cleaning on aircrafts.

He also explained that the airline was launching £40 PCR tests to help make it more affordable for travellers to jet off to countries around the world.

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