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What ETOA says about new UK travel rules and the Global Travel Taskforce

What ETOA says about new UK travel rules and the Global Travel Taskforce
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Today, April 9, 2021, UK Secretary of State for Transport set out a framework to chart the safe return of international travel via an announcement from the Global Travel Taskforce.

  1. Setting up a traffic light system of green, amber, and red will be used to identify the travel and health risk of countries.
  2. With vaccines continuing to roll out, COVID testing will remain an essential part of protecting public health as restrictions begin to ease.
  3. The permission to travel form will be removed, meaning passengers will no longer need to prove they have a valid reason to leave the country.

The Global Travel Taskforce is an advisory body of the government of the United Kingdom. Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps announced the formation of the group on October 7, 2020 as a cross-government response to an identified need to enable the safe and sustainable recovery of international travel and to introduce a COVID-19 testing system for travelers visiting the UK.

In February 2021, the Prime Minister asked the Secretary of State for Transport to convene a successor to the Global Travel Taskforce, building on the recommendations set out in November 2020 to develop a framework for a safe and sustainable return to international travel when the time is right.

Traffic Light System

A traffic light system, which will categorize countries based on risk alongside the restrictions required for travel, will be set up to protect the public and the vaccine rollout from international COVID-19 variants.

Key factors in the assessment will include:

  • the percentage of their population that have been vaccinated
  • the rate of infection
  • the prevalence of variants of concern
  • the country’s access to reliable scientific data and genomic sequencing

The traffic light system will work this way:

Green: arrivals will need to take a pre-departure test as well as a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test on or before day 2 of their arrival back into the UK – but 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 10 days and take a pre-departure test, and a PCR test on day 2 and day 8 with the option for Test to Release on day 5 to end self-isolation early.

Red: arrivals will be subject to restrictions currently in place for red list countries which include a 10-day stay in a managed quarantine hotel, pre-departure testing and PCR testing on day 2 and 8.

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About the author

Linda Hohnholz, eTN editor

Linda Hohnholz has been writing and editing articles since the start of her working career. She has applied this innate passion to such places as Hawaii Pacific University, Chaminade University, the Hawaii Children's Discovery Center, and now TravelNewsGroup.

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