The prime minister’s plans for an ‘amber watchlist’ for international travel have been scrapped in a Government U-turn on Covid curbs.
Government sources have confirmed to the Mirror that a rethink of the traffic light system has been ditched.
Ministers were reportedly preparing to introduce the new sixth category, entitled the ‘amber watchlist’
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This would alert holidaymakers when a country faced the threat of being shifted onto the red list at short notice.
The idea has provoked a huge backlash from the travel industry and frustrated Tory backbenchers and the Government has binned the “confusing” idea at the last minute.
Later this week the UK public will be updated on which countries are safe for travel in the latest review of the traffic light system.
Travellers from red list countries are forced to isolate for 10 days in a Government approved hotel – at a cost of £1,750 per person.
The decision, which has infuriated Paris, was taken due to the prevalence of Beta variant cases.
Huw Merriman, the Tory chairman of the Commons Transport Committee, led a furious backlash against the idea of a new amber watchlist.
He told the BBC: “An amber watchlist will be viewed as a massive red flag which is likely to cause bookings to those countries on that watchlist to collapse.
“In my view we don’t need any more uncertainty, complexity or anxiety for passengers or this beleaguered sector, it just needs clarity.”
Asked whether he personally backed a sixth category on a visit to Airbus in Stevenage, Mr Johnson said he supported a “user friendly” system.
He said: “I understand that people care very much about their holidays, people want to go abroad, I understand how much people plan, prepare, for the summer holidays.
“But we have also got to remember this is still a dangerous virus and we must try and stop variants coming in, must stop importing variants from abroad, so we have to have a balanced approach.
“What I want to see is something that is as simple and as user-friendly for people as possible.”
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