Traffic light system 'to stay for three weeks' says Shapps
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Grant Shapps has announced on ITV’s Good Morning Britain this morning that people can travel without “looking over their shoulders” for the next three weeks, saying that “we have come a long way”. The good news came after the government confirmed that fully vaccinated UK arrivals from France would no longer need to quarantine.
Speaking on Good Morning Britain, the Secretary of State for Transport said: “I suppose the answer is we’ve come a long way in the last year and a half since all this started and unlike last year, lots of people are vaccinated now.
“And that’s enabling people to be able to start travelling again as other countries, except people who are fully vaccinated as well.
“So unlike last year where the rules were changing every week, we’ve now got this set of rules in place, which will stay for the next three weeks unless something exceptional and unexpected happens, and we very much hope that’s not the case.
He added: “People can go away, enjoy the whole days not looking over their shoulders and have a very well-earned break or indeed see friends and families that many haven’t seen for a long time.”
Yesterday, minsters ditched plans for a “watchlist” of amber countries such as Spain and confirmed that France would be moved from the amber-plus to the amber list, meaning fully vaccinated visitors will be able to travel to England without needing to quarantine.
However, in a note of caution, the government has warned there are still concerns about Spain and said it would keep the country under close watch.
Arrivals from Spain will now be advised to take a PCR test as their pre-departure test, signalling further restrictions.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps told the BBC : “We are committed to opening up international travel safely, taking advantage of the gains we’ve made through our successful vaccination programme, helping connect families, friends and businesses around the world.”
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According to the latest travel update, there are now 36 countries on the green list – but 16 of them, including Caribbean islands, Croatia, Malta, Israel and Taiwan are on the “green watchlist”, meaning they could be suddenly be moved to amber.
Australia and New Zealand are both green, but neither are currently welcoming British travellers.
PM Boris Johnson said earlier this week that he wanted to keep a “simple”, “user-friendly” system for foreign travel.
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