The UK government has announced the latest updates to the Green, Amber and Red lists of countries and restrictions for international travel. The new rules will come into effect from 4am on Monday 30th August.
The latest updates to restrictions will see Thailand and the Balkan nation of Montenegro have been added to the Red list, with travel now restricted.
Seven additional countries and territories will also be added to the Green List, requiring no quarantine on arrival in the UK, irrespective of the travellers’ vaccination status: Canada, Switzerland, Denmark, Finland, Lithuania, Liechtenstein and the Portugal’s Azores Islands.
Charlie Cornish, CEO of Manchester Airports Group, the UK’s largest airport operator, has welcomed the expansion of the Green list but criticised the heavy-handedness of the UK’s testing requirements for vaccinated travellers. In a statement, he said:
“Today’s announcement will have a positive impact on the options available to those looking to go on holiday in the remaining days of the summer season.
“But in reality, these changes will make little difference to the overall recovery of the UK travel industry, which is already recovering at less than half the pace of the rest of Europe.
“Europe’s stronger recovery has been driven by the removal of testing requirements on vaccinated travellers.
“Unless the UK also removes the need for people with full immunity to take these tests, we will continue to squander the advantage our world-leading vaccination programme was supposed to deliver, while passengers on the continent travel restriction-free to low-risk destinations.
“Government cannot wait until the 1stOctober to make changes to the travel regime and must press ahead with an overhaul of its traffic light system immediately.
“We must arrive at a simpler, more affordable and sustainable travel framework to enable the best possible winter season and give customers the confidence to book ahead for 2022.”
Charlie Cornish’s statement comes following data from the analysis of European air travel data by BALPA, which shows that the UK’s aviation sector has been the worst affected by the Covid-19 pandemic in Europe, with London Gatwick and Manchester airports having seen the greatest percentage fall in flights across the continent.