Since Boris Johnson announced the roadmap out of lockdown, the date of Monday 17 May has been etched on the mind of those in the industry and people who want or need to travel abroad. That is the date which has been pencilled in as the ‘travel restart’ day, along with further relaxation of measures within the UK.
We’re delighted to see the report by Paul Charles, from The PC Agency, which has outlined what he expects to happen over the next few weeks as travel from 17 May now looks not just possible, but highly probable. The first step to achieving that is for the government to no longer make international travel illegal, and it is expected the ‘Permission to Travel’ form which is currently your passport out of the country if you have a valid reason will be removed. This effectively allows travel to anywhere, not just countries on the ‘Green List’, but also those who don’t mind quarantining at home to an ‘Amber List’ country.
Hot on the lips of many is what country is going to be on what list and when that will be announced. We know many of you are looking forward to heading abroad this summer, and it looks like we should know in a couple of weeks time – either on 6 or 7 May. Mr Charles suggested this announcement will fall in line with a press conference on 10 May confirming all the arrangements for travel, in line for a restart a week later.
We still don’t have a strong indication of countries that will be on the list, although its expected those who have vaccinated the majority of their population will be favourites. He has suggested countries like Barbados, St. Lucia, Antigua, Turks and Caicos, Bermuda, Grenada, St. Helena, Falkland Islands, Isreal, Seychelles and Maldives may be included on a Green List of up to 30 different countries. Grant Shapps, the Transport Secretary has also suggested as we saw last summer that individual islands or island groups could be listed separately from their mainland if they have a different Covid situation.
Mr Charles has also suggested there could be some relaxation of rules when returning from an Amber destination and you have been fully vaccinated, this could mean a shorter quarantine period than the ten days already outlined in the Global Travel Taskforce report. There will also be a charter for travellers, outlining their rights when travelling, which will include situations like being abroad and the traffic light for your destination changing.
The Global Travel Taskforce report also mentioned three milestone dates – June 28, July 31 and October 1. Mr Charles has suggested that travel to the US could be restarted around June 28 to target Independence Day on July 4, July 31 to be the restart date for the big transit hubs such as Dubai and Abu Dhabi, and October 1 an ambition to restart travel to Australia and New Zealand.
So, we look forward to a couple of weeks time, and always we will keep everyone updated with the latest official news from the government as and when we know.