Politics

Tory MPs urge Boris Johnson to axe travel amber list completely

Boris Johnson is today facing pressure from Tory MPs and the travel industry to ditch the Government’s traffic light system.

On Monday plans for an “amber watchlist“ were abandoned and the prime minister pledged to keep travel rules as simple as possible amid a review into the system on Thursday.

Ministers had been considering new category for nations at risk of being moved into the red group, but faced a backlash from livid Tory MPs and travel bosses who feared that top holiday destinations such as Spain could be moved onto the list.

Despite the plans now being shelved, travel bosses have now moved swiftly to demand that the government’s traffic light system is scrapped altogether, as reported by the Daily Mail.

More than 300 travel firms have written to Mr Johnson to say that there should only be a red category, and not green and amber sections. The red category would be for countries who have very high levels of Covid infections or new variants.

The letter states: “We urge ministers to simplify travel urgently so that at least the key travel month of August can be salvaged.

“The traffic light system should be either abandoned or made much easier, along the lines of the American system.

“There would continue to be some red countries which would be out of bounds but the majority of destinations would be accessible to the fully jabbed.

“This easy-to-understand policy would help the UK travel sector recover, build confidence quickly among consumers and still protect our country’s health needs with pre-departure testing.

“We call on the Prime Minister to act swiftly so as to save tens of thousands of jobs and provide clarity for consumers hoping to travel to see loved ones.”

The letter, coordinated by the Save Our Summer group, argues for a more simplified travel system where people who are double-jabbed can travel to any countries that will allow them to enter.

Tory MP Henry Smith, whose Crawley constituency includes Gatwick Airport, backed to calls for an easier system of travel.

He told the Daily Mail: “I’m in favour of anything that is simplified and more easy to understand.

“The traffic light system could have provided that but shortly after it was announced there were all sorts of caveats.”

New rules allowing fully-vaccinated passengers from the US and amber-list European countries to avoid self-isolation on arrival in the UK came into force on Monday.

The relaxation of rules allows passengers who have been double-jabbed with a vaccine approved by regulators in the US, the EU or Switzerland to avoid 10 days in self-isolation.

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