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Ministers advise against travelling to amber list countries

Coronavirus

Ministers advise against travelling to amber list countries

Ministers advise against travelling to amber list countries

The transport secretary has echoed the Prime Minister’s guidance on the travel traffic light system for plans to go overseas. 

Grant Shapps, transport secretary, has told BBC Breakfast: “The guidance is not to. We’ve said you should only go to amber countries in exceptional circumstances.” 

Similarly, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said that you should not be going to an amber country for any reason other than an “extreme circumstance” such as illness.  

These statements come after environment secretary George Eustace said that people are allowed to go to amber countries to visit friends and family as long as they quarantine after. 

The contradictory statements made by these ministers and more have “confused” the public according to Johan Lundgren, the chief executive of EasyJet.  

He added and told BBC Radio 4: “We have a huge amount of people that are contacting us to say: ‘Look, can I go? Can’t I go?’ – So, it’s been very confusing, and the government is almost dismantling the system that is set up themselves.”

Photo: Red and Green lights illustrating countries that travel is allowed or prohibited to. Credit: Flickr.

While it is advised by the government to not go to amber list countries for pleasure, it is not illegal to do so and there are no fines attached as long as you quarantine and test. 

When this was suggested by Sky News, skills minister Gillian Keegan said: “We haven’t legislated to ban people from going on holiday at all, this is guidance. And as in many of these things that we’ve had throughout the pandemic this has been about really allowing the Great British Public, relying on them being sensible and to look at the guidance we put in place and taking their own decisions. But no, we wouldn’t advise going on holiday to the amber list countries.”

This traffic light system began on May 17th when overseas trips were eased back in. This created colour lists (green, amber or red) for countries to be sorted under. 

The green list means you do not need to quarantine or self-isolate after you go there and return to the UK but you will need to take three COVID tests (lateral or PCR). One test must be taken three days before you leave the UK and two when you come back. 

The amber list means you must self-isolate for ten days after you come back and take three of the same Covid tests. You can take the third one earlier to reduce time spent in self-isolation if you pay extra.

The red list means you have to quarantine for ten days in a hotel (which you must book yourself) and you also must take three tests. You cannot take the third test early.

Linked below is a video report that summarizes the comments made so far on the traffic light system.

If you have any concerns or comments about the system, please contact us on our social media: for Twitter @journalism_lond and for Facebook @journalism.london

By Nora Amini

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