Confusion abounds after a health minister appeared to contradict official travel advice following the relaxation of restrictions by saying all international travel was “unsafe.”
Residents of England, Scotland and Wales can travel abroad on vacation to a limited number of destinations after restrictions are relaxed.
There are green, orange and red lists for international travel, but politicians have offered different advice on where the public is allowed to travel abroad.
Here, the PA news agency answers 12 key questions for vacationers:
– What is the confusion coming from Whitehall?
Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s official spokesperson, in a briefing with reporters on Tuesday, said leisure travel should always be limited to the limited number of countries deemed safe by ministers, such as Portugal, which appear on the “green list” without quarantine.
But two Cabinet ministers appeared to be proposing a different reading of the rules, with Environment Secretary George Eustice telling broadcasters that broadcasters could visit Orange List countries as long as they followed the quarantine rules at their home. return.
Welsh Secretary Simon Hart, speaking after Mr Johnson’s comments on the matter, told Times Radio that the public should consider whether a trip to an Orange List country was ‘essential’ before conceding that “Some people might think a vacation is essential.”
To complicate matters further, Health Minister Lord Bethell has told his peers he considers all overseas travel “dangerous” and urged Britons to spend their holidays at home this summer.
– What are the lists and why are they important?
The government has implemented a risk-based “traffic light” system with red, amber and green ratings for countries around the world. The notes determine the quarantine and coronavirus testing requirements people face when returning home from Monday, May 17, when the ban on overseas leisure travel was lifted.
– What is the special feature of the green list?
Travelers returning from a country or territory on this list will not need to self-quarantine and will only need to take one coronavirus test after arrival.
– It looks nice. What are the locations on it?
It includes Portugal, Gibraltar, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Brunei, Iceland and the Faroe Islands, as well as several small remote islands which are British overseas territories.
– So can I go on vacation anywhere on this list?
Not enough. Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Brunei and the Faroe Islands have severely restricted entry criteria.
– So where can I go?
Portugal welcomes British tourists who recently tested negative, recovered from the virus and therefore have antibodies or received both doses of a vaccine.
Gibraltar will not require British visitors to be tested or vaccinated, while Israel will initially reopen its border on May 23 only to groups of foreign tourists who have had both hits.
None of these destinations will require arrivals to be quarantined.
– What about the orange list?
This covers many popular vacation destinations such as Spain, France, Italy, and Greece.
Transportation Secretary Grant Shapps said, “You shouldn’t be going to these places right now.”
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said on Sunday that the folks at Times Radio should not go to places on the Amber or Red List “unless absolutely necessary, and certainly not for the purposes of vacation”.
The Prime Minister also stressed that the countries on the orange list were “not a place where you should go on vacation”.
– What if I go against these indications?
People returning from amber countries must pass two tests after arrival.
They also need to self-isolate at home for 10 days, although they can reduce that time if they take an additional negative test on the fifth day.
– What about the red list?
Those returning from a Red List country must stay in a quarantine hotel for 11 nights at a cost of £ 1,750.
– Will the lists change?
The lists will be changed every three weeks, but Boris Johnson said on Friday he did not expect new countries to be added “very quickly” to the green level.
– And the vaccine passports?
Mr Shapps confirmed that people in England will be able to demonstrate that they have received both doses of a vaccine through the NHS app.
The Welsh government has said vaccination status certificates will be available from Monday 24 May for people in Wales who have received both doses and need to urgently travel to a country requiring proof of vaccination.
– Can people living across the UK go on holiday abroad?
Scotland’s travel rules are aligned with England’s, and the same traffic light system went into place on Monday, but officials urged people to exercise caution.
Non-essential travel from Northern Ireland to the Common Travel Area, which includes the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, is now also permitted.
While Wales has cleared international travel from Monday under the English traffic light system, concerns from the Welsh government over the re-import of the virus mean it is advising people not to travel overseas in 2021.