Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Johnson presses for further easing of travel rules to save beleaguered industry

Unless the government further relaxes rules on international travel, thousands of jobs in the aviation sector are at risk, ministers have been warned.

New rules allowing travelers from the United States and Amber-listed European countries to avoid self-isolation upon arrival in the UK came into force at 4 am on Monday.

But uncertainty over international travel continues, despite the easing of quarantine requirements, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson warning not to create a new category in the traffic light system.

The rumored Amber Watchlist will apply to countries at risk of being transferred to the red category – which requires hotel quarantine for 10 days at a cost of £1,750 for an adult.

Reports have suggested there is a fallout among cabinet ministers over proposals to introduce an Amber Watchlist, designed to warn travelers of the possibility that coronavirus data in the countries concerned—which could potentially include Italy and Spain can be placed on the red list at short notice. .

Travel expert Paul Charles has said it would be a “disaster” if the government introduced a new travel traffic light category.

“It would be a disaster to put Amber Watchlist at the top of the Amber List, Green List, Red List,” the chief executive of travel consultancy The PC Agency told ITV’s “Good Morning Britain” programme.

As well as the green, amber and red categories, there is also “amber plus” – currently only covering France, meaning travelers returning from the country’s popular holiday destinations still need to self-isolate.

Tim Alderslade, chief executive of trade body Airlines UK, told Times Radio that the decision on France meant “people now think with Amber, there is a good chance whether there is a watchlist or not, that they will be stranded, and it is a real There is moisture in terms of bookings.”

“Now we’ve only got six to eight weeks until the end of the summer, and tens of thousands of jobs in the travel and aviation sectors are at risk.”

Hugh Merriman, Tory chairman of the Commons Transport Committee, told the BBC: “An Amber watchlist would largely be seen as a red flag, with bookings likely to fall for those countries on that watchlist.

“In my view we don’t need any more uncertainty, complexity or concern for passengers or this troubled area, it just needs clarity.”

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Government minister Matt Warman defended the idea of ​​a travel watch list.

The digital infrastructure minister told Sky News it allowed people to make “informed decisions” about the “direction of travel to the country”.

“People have to make common sense decisions and that can include taking into account the fact that a country’s rates can be really bad,” he said.

“The most important thing that the government can do is to ensure that people have as much information as possible, that they are aware of the direction a foreign country is going so that they do not inadvertently put themselves in quarantine. Get it when they come back.”

Ministers are due to meet on Thursday to review the traffic light system and set travel rules, which will be mostly in force in August.

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The Daily Telegraph reported that Transport Secretary Grant Shapps is pushing to end the “amber watchlist” idea, while Chancellor Rishi Sunak reportedly told the prime minister that the UK’s entry and exit rules are “in step with our international competitors”. are out” and are harming the economy.

The easing of rules on Monday allowed travelers who have been double-pocketed with a vaccine approved by regulators in the United States, the European Union or Switzerland to avoid 10 days in self-isolation.

They will be required to undergo pre-departure tests and PCR tests on or before the second day after arriving in England.

Heathrow chief executive John Holland-Kaye told BBC Radio 4’s “Today”: “We need to get rid of the need for PCR testing for everyone and replace it with a cheap, simple lateral flow test, And only PCR testing has to be used if people test positive for genomic purposes.”

Labor Party chair Anneliese Dodds warned against creating “extra confusion and chaos” via the Amber Watchlist.

“The problem is that right now the holidaymakers don’t know who to believe,” he told Times Radio, adding, “It looks like we’re doing chancellor briefings against the prime minister in Sunday’s letters.”

“It’s not building trust, ultimately, in the system.”

by David Hughes


News From – The Epoch Times

Johnson presses for further easing of travel rules to save beleaguered industry
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