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Publish data behind holiday rules, Ministers told

Ministers ordered by Britain’s statistics watchdog to reveal data that justifies any decisions to move countries to amber or red status for foreign travel

Ministers have been ordered by Britain’s statistics watchdog to reveal the data that justifies any decisions to move countries to amber or red status for foreign travel. 

Holiday bosses were enraged last month when France was moved to ‘amber plus’ status – meaning fully-vaccinated travellers still have to quarantine on return to the UK. 

There are now fears that Ministers will put European hotspots on a new ‘amber watch list’, meaning they could go straight on the red list. Families would then face compulsory hotel quarantine on their return at £1,750 per person. 

Confusion: Holiday bosses were enraged last month when France was moved to ‘amber plus’ status

Mary Gregory, at the Office for Statistics Regulation, said the Government ‘did not make clear’ which data informed decision about France’s status. 

In a letter to the Joint Biosecurity Centre (JBC), which advises the Government on Covid measures, Gregory said there was also confusion about how data on cases of the South African Beta variant in France were analysed. Gregory wrote: ‘The lack of clear signposting to data sources… falls short of our expectations on transparency. In future we would like to see key information clearly signposted and published more promptly.’ 

Manchester Airports Group, supported by major airlines including Ryanair, EasyJet and British Airways owner IAG, sued the Government in June over a lack of transparency around its decisions to grade countries red, green or amber. 

The High Court ruled in the Government’s favour. The airport plans to appeal. Chief executive Charlie Cornish said: ‘The confusion around France’s amber-plus status is yet another example of the problems caused by the Government’s refusal to be open and transparent about traffic light decisions.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk