16:33 GMT16 May 2021
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    For the first time in months, a UK minister was not advising against booking foreign trips, while making a statement on post-lockdown travel rules.

    With the earliest date for foreign holidays being the 17 May, Brits with travel plans were told to brace themselves for the new traffic light system and 'green watchlist'.

    Transport Secretary Grant Shapps set out a framework within the Global Travel Taskforce on Friday to safely reopen international travel.  

    According to the government vision, the traffic light system will categorise countries based on risk alongside the restrictions required for travel.

    Starting the 17 May at the earliest, travellers may not be required anymore to produce the permission to travel form when travelling, which currently obliges them to prove they have a valid reason to leave the country.

    The categories of the traffic light system are green, amber and red, with a ‘green watchlist’ to be introduced to help identify countries most at risk of moving from ‘green’ to ‘amber’. 

    • Green: arrivals will need to take a pre-departure test as well as a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test on or before day 2 of their arrival back into the UK - but will not need to quarantine on return (unless they receive a positive result) or take any additional tests, halving the cost of tests on their return from holiday
    • Amber: arrivals will need to quarantine for a period of 10 days and take a pre-departure test, and a PCR test on day 2 and day 8 with the option for Test to Release on day 5 to end self-isolation early
    • Red: arrivals will be subject to restrictions currently in place for ‘red list’ countries which include a 10-day stay in a managed quarantine hotel, pre-departure testing and PCR testing on day 2 and 8

    ​Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said that the announced framework will “ensure we protect our hard-won achievements on the vaccine roll out, and offer peace of mind to both passengers and industry as we begin to take trips abroad once again.”

    ​Following the government announcement, Jet2.com chief executive Steve Heapy criticised its “lack of clarity and detail”. Jet2.com has made the decision to extend the suspension of flights and holidays up to and including 23 June 2021.

    Travel restrictions will be reviewed on 28 June 2021 to take account of the state of Britain’s national health picture.

    COVID-19, UK, international travel, travel
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