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UK holidaymakers could face chaos over traffic light system for EU countries

The EU recently announced that vaccinated travellers from the UK could travel to European destinations this summer as Covid travel restrictions loosen. However, many could still face chaos due to the UK's cautious and changing traffic light system that affects quarantine and other rules for returning travellers.

UK holidaymakers could face chaos over traffic light system for EU countries
Reno Charlton
· 3 min read

Many people across Britain are eager to enjoy a summer holiday this year following over a year of tight restrictions and chaos due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Some were delighted to hear recently that the EU was loosening its restrictions regarding granting entry to travellers from the UK and other places with low infection rates.

The EU announced that people from countries with low infection rates, including the UK, can fly to European destinations from June. As part of the European Commission Plan, those from specified countries and fully vaccinated travellers will get the go-ahead to travel this summer. For the many who have booked trips already, the news came as a relief.

However, some may be plunged into chaos again as the government is being extremely cautious over its traffic-light system. While the EU has opened its doors, the UK could give fewer than ten countries the green light for travel. This means there could be changing quarantine requirements for different destinations, potentially significantly impacting the plans of holidaymakers who have already booked trips for this summer

Traffic light system to be announced by UK government

The traffic light system is expected to be confirmed this week by the government. It will see different countries being added to red, amber, or green travel lists. Each of these lists has varying rules concerning travel restrictions and quarantine requirements upon return.

While Brits heading to destinations on the green list will be fine, those who have trips booked to travel to destinations on the amber and red lists may face issues. This is made worse as the situation can change very quickly, which means countries could be moved from one traffic light list to another in a short space of time. 

Some MPs have called for the government to give the green light to travel across Europe due to low infection rates. However, according to reports, it is likely that the number of destinations on the green travel list will be minimal. 

The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, said on Monday, “We do want to do some opening up on 17 May, but I don’t think that the people of this country want to see an influx of disease from anywhere else. I certainly don’t and we have got to be very, very tough, and we have got to be as cautious as we can, whilst we continue to open up.”

Regular reviews to be carried out

Officials have said that reviews will take place every few weeks, which could see the number of countries on the green list increase. However, this doesn't help those who have already booked travel to destinations across Europe and now don't know whether to cancel their plans.

Some are describing 2021 as the year of last-minute bookings for holidaymakers due to the potential for continuous changes regarding travel restrictions.

Reno Charlton
Reno Charlton
Reno Charlton has been writing since 2003. She has worked with a diverse client base around the world, across a variety of subjects and industry areas, specialising in lifestyle and health & wellbeing niches. In addition to her online work, Reno is also a published author and has written several children's books and short stories.