Boris Johnson warns it is ‘premature’ to book a holiday: PM refuses to say which countries will be on travel ‘green list’ from May 17 and asks Britons to be patient
- Boris Johnson today said it is ‘premature’ to speculate on ‘green list’ countries
- The PM apologised to holidaymakers and said update due ‘as soon as possible’
- Non-essential international travel is due to resume from May 17 at the earliest
Boris Johnson today insisted it is ‘premature’ to speculate on which countries could be on the UK’s foreign travel ‘green list’.
The Prime Minister apologised to holidaymakers and urged them to be patient as he said the Government will provide an update ‘as soon as we possibly can’.
Non-essential international travel is due to resume from May 17 at the earliest under the PM’s lockdown exit roadmap.
The Government earlier this month unveiled a new traffic light system which will see countries categorised as red, amber or green based on criteria like vaccination levels and coronavirus case numbers.
Travel to green countries will be quarantine-free although passengers will still have to take Covid tests.
Travel from red countries will require a stay in hotel quarantine while returning from amber countries will require 10 days of self-isolation at home.
Boris Johnson today insisted it is ‘premature’ to speculate on which countries could be on the UK’s foreign travel ‘green list’
Non-essential international travel is due to resume from May 17 at the earliest under the PM’s lockdown exit roadmap. Blue Lagoon in Comino, Malta is pictured
Mr Johnson refused to be drawn on which countries will be on the ‘green list’ this afternoon as he was grilled at a Downing Street coronavirus press conference.
The PM said: ‘On your very good question about travel, I would love to be able to give you and your readers a clear run down of the countries that we think may be either red, amber or green at this stage.
‘We won’t be able to do that yet, as we have said the Global Travel Taskforce has reported but what they have said is that we are really going to need to wait until early May before we can set out which countries are on the list.
‘You can see some of the troubles and some of the problems that some of our friends are currently having.
‘So I think it would be just premature to speculate about that. I am sorry about that, but we will be saying more as soon as we possibly can before May 17.’
The Government’s plans for resuming non-essential international travel were slammed by travel chiefs who said there was a lack of detail and too much uncertainty.
There has also been a furious backlash over the testing requirement for travel from green countries.
People will still have to take at least one lab-based PCR test which can cost £120.
Ministers have vowed to drive down the cost but holiday firms fear the testing rules will price many families out of a trip abroad this summer.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said earlier this month that it is now possible for Britons to start thinking about booking a foreign holiday.
Travel to green countries will be quarantine-free although passengers will still have to take Covid tests
He said: ‘My advice today would be moving on from where we were before, I am not telling people that they shouldn’t book summer holidays and that is the first time that I have been able to say that for many months.
‘But I think everybody doing it understands there are risks with coronavirus and of course actually I think people would want to be clear about which countries are going to be in the different traffic light system.
‘People will predominantly of course be looking to book in a green country. So there is only two or three weeks to wait before we publish that list itself.
‘But yes, tentative progress, for the first time people can start to think about visiting loved ones abroad or perhaps a summer holiday but we are doing it very, very cautiously because we don’t want to see any return of coronavirus in this country.’