What about traveling abroad?

Woman in N95 mask posing selfie next to a tourist attraction in Spain

Woman in N95 mask posing selfie next to a tourist attraction in Spain

Since May 17, overseas travel for non-essential reasons such as vacations has been legalized, but very few countries are on the green list, so few countries allow travelers to go without quarantine.

The government has always said that overseas travel is restricted, but the travel industry did not expect the list to be so restricted. Portugal has moved to the amber list..

So how do you get your trip back on track? What are the obstacles?

Coronavirus variants

The government is concerned about importing new infections into the UK, but the biggest concern is that tourists may bring in vaccine-resistant mutants.

The difficulty is that it works when the mutant (in the case of Portugal) is important enough to change the status of the traffic light in that country.

Is it when it is classified as “interested”, “interested”, or when it is first identified?

“The transition from a variant of interest to a variant of concern has never been properly identified as a parameter to consider,” Dr. Bharat Panhania, a senior clinical lecturer at the University of Exeter School of Medicine, told the BBC. ..

“Almost all of them start out as variants of interest and become concerns when demonstrating the activity and characteristics of being a more infectious, serious disease that causes or bypasses current vaccines. I will. “

However, where the line is drawn is important, especially if the identification of the mutant or mutation is sufficient to move the country from one level to another.

Some in the industry believe that the government is too risk averse.

“There’s a story about a new variant and everything will stop,” says Steve Heapy, the boss of budget airline Jet2. “Is it okay to stay like this in the future?”

“If so, they are trying to defeat Mother Nature. There are always variants of the virus.”

Tim Aldersrade, CEO of the industry group Airline UK, said the industry is not calling for resumption of travel everywhere.

“But if the government gets into this kind of risk appetite, it will be very difficult to figure out how to spend the summer season,” he says.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Transport said, “We have always made it clear that protecting public health is our priority and that decisive action is taken promptly when needed.”

Will the island reopen?

The industry wanted mainland Greece and Spain to be green-listed yet, but at least some of Spain and the Greek islands to be green-listed.

Girl wearing a mask at Balos Beach in Crete, Greece

The travel industry wanted the Greek islands to be on the government’s green list of international travel.

The island policy was used last year, and Secretary of Transportation Grant Shapps said in April that his department would like to consider it.

However, due to the size of the islands, it is difficult to see individual islands.

“Medical facilities are limited and we can provide what we can, but not more,” says Dr. Pancania.

“It may be time for British vacationers to wait. We have sick Spaniards, we can prioritize them, and vacationers can get stuck.”

In addition, although the test results for the new coronavirus show the infection rate of islanders, they do not include the test results of tourists, and there is concern that the infection may spread to each other.

However, some argue that including small areas on the green list can help maintain the flow of travel in low-risk areas.

How is the list decided?

This is a painful point for the travel industry, who doesn’t understand what a country can be a hint of among different colors.

Passengers will be guided to a coach heading to the Quarantine Hotel through the arrival area of ​​Heathrow Airport Terminal 5.

The government is concerned about tourists and visitors bringing in variants of the coronavirus that may prove resistant to the vaccine.

The government has set standards such as vaccination rates, virus levels, variants, and the quality of genome sequencing provided by the state, but it does not accurately indicate each level that leads up and down the list.

“You can’t plan what to do,” Hepy said. Without a structured methodology. “

Ultimately, this is not just a decision about data from other countries.

While receiving recommendations from the Joint Biosecurity Center on the position of other countries, ministers also consider other issues such as the health of the UK and the practicality of putting one country on the red, amber, or green list. I will. This is still a political decision.

What are other countries doing?

Government guidelines do not say anything about traveling abroad or taking into account what other countries are doing when deciding whether to put one country on the green list.

Transatlantic airline bosses gathered yesterday Pressure UK and US politicians to resume flights between UK and US For business and leisure trips.

They hope that US Presidents Joe Biden and Boris Johnson will announce a travel corridor at the G7 conference in Cornwall this weekend.

There is no doubt that time is important for airlines that have gone bankrupt in less than a year with a minimum of passengers.

Delta boss Ed Bastion said that competitors from all airlines were rarely seen in one place, but they were “speaking in one voice.”

He warned that as Europe began to open its doors to US travelers, Britain could be left behind and lose lucrative tourism revenues.

The European Commission has announced that the EU Digital Covid-19 passport will begin on July 1st and may be issued to non-European travelers, including visitors from the United Kingdom and the United States.

However, European countries have already begun to welcome travelers.

EasyJet boss Johan Lundgren

Landgren says people want to go on vacation as soon as possible

Spain, on the amber list, has allowed British travelers to enter the country from Monday without the need for a Covid test or vaccination certificate.

Therefore, you can visit Spain, but you will still need to quarantine when you return home.

“It’s just a belief,” Sophie Griffith, editor of the Travel Trade Gazette, told the BBC. “Why do people do that, especially because the country is open and the UK is closed?” I’m confused and frustrated about what’s going on. “

EasyJet boss Johan Lundgren agrees. “This decision separated Britain from Europe and the world. The people of Britain are completely confused.”

Finding a balance between travel bosses and government demands is becoming an elaborate and delicate dance.

“I know where it is [travel bosses] “It comes from,” says Dr. Pancania.

“But from an infection control perspective, it’s well balanced now. We’re almost there. You should be completely convinced before opening the door to everyone. [as] Once opened, it is difficult to close again. “

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