The “Traffic Light System” that the UK has been using during the summer to categorize countries as either green, amber or red would disappear as early as October 1, said the PC Agency’s CEO, Paul Charles.
To date, Britons returning from more than 60 countries on the red list need to observe strict hotel quarantine, which dramatically and – according to many – unnecessarily increase their travel costs.
A new system would reduce the number of countries on the red list to a much smaller number of nations that, in fact, have an extremely high infection rate, release questionable data or report new variants of concern.
“The traffic light system is expected to be scrapped by 1st Oct – at last. Airlines and some of us in the sector are aware of plans to create a simpler system, where countries are either red or not. This would be the US model in effect, which I’ve been calling for,” twitted Charles.
The new guidelines are expected to be based on both the traveler’s vaccination status and the target country vaccination levels rather than the risk level of the country Britons are returning from.
A number of sectors have challenged the current criteria used to transition a country from green to amber to amber plus or red. In multiple instances, it has looked rather political than epidemiological.
An anonymous source told The Telegraph more details about the new proposal. “What it means is that green and amber disappear and only vaccination status will count for where you travel. For a vaccinated person, just as now all countries apart from red are “green”.
If implemented, the new system would be a great monetary relief for international U.K. travelers who have spent millions of pounds in hotel quarantine sites.
When introduced, the cost of a quarantine package for adults including transport, food, drinks, Covid tests and of course, accommodation was £1,750 with additional adults charged at £650.
On August 12 it increased to £2,285 (a 30% increase) and £1,430 (a 120% increase).