COVID-19: Boris Johnson warns UK must stop further variants from overseas as ministers prepare to unveil Orange Watchlist

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Boris Johnson has said he wants a ‘simple’ and ‘user-friendly’ system for holidaymakers amid speculation over the introduction of a new amber travel watchlist – but stressed the UK must stop the arrival of variants.

The government is expected to announce changes to the traffic light system this week, possibly including a new amber COVID watch list of countries that could be redlisted with little warning.

Travelers entering the UK from Red List countries must pay £ 1,750 to stay in hotel quarantine for 10 days.

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Several Conservative MPs, travel industry bosses and Labor have said another list would be “complicated” and “disaster”.

But the prime minister said: “We have to stop importing variants from abroad and we have to have a balanced approach and what I want to see is something that is as simple and user-friendly as possible for people. but, obviously, the dual vaccinations which we really do offer the way forward.

“We had to balance [the opening up] because of the anxiety that a lot of people have, I have, to import new variants, to bring back the disease.

“But we also have to recognize that people really want to go on summer vacation, we have to get people to revive the travel industry, to reopen our downtown areas. And so we wanted an approach as simple as maybe we can get it. “

Spain is said to be one of the countries considered for the list, which could cause problems for up to a million British tourists currently vacationing there.

There are concerns that Greece and Italy could follow.

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“Keep it simple,” urges Heathrow boss to government

The possible Amber Watchlist will come shortly after passengers arriving from Amber List countries, but vaccinated in the US or the EU, were allowed to avoid self-isolation for 10 days from Monday. People vaccinated in the UK were already allowed to avoid self-isolation from Amber List countries.

The upcoming announcement sparked a row within government, with Huw Merriman, the Conservative Chairman of the House of Commons Transport Committee, claiming that an orange watchlist is a “giant red flag” and would lead to cancellations of reservation and complications.

Earlier Monday, Matt Warman, Minister of Digital Infrastructure, said the travel watchlist provides people with information to make “informed decisions.”

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“Keep it simple,” urges Heathrow boss to government

He told Sky News: “People have to make common sense judgments and that may involve taking into consideration that a country’s rates may indeed get worse.

“The most important thing government can do is make sure people have as much information as possible; that they have information on the direction in which a foreign country might be heading so that they don’t inadvertently find themselves in quarantine upon their return. “

According to Times Radio, industry figures said the government “is getting tied up with these inexplicably complicated rules.”

Travel industry bosses have said tens of thousands of jobs in the aviation and travel industries are at risk due to government roster changes.

Heathrow Managing Director John Holland-Kaye told Sky News: “I think we need to keep it simple and build confidence that vaccination works.

“I would like to see France return to the orange list and an extension of the green list. “

Airlines UK chief executive Tim Alderslade said placing France on the ‘amber-plus’ list was a ‘total disaster’ after ministers revealed the change was prompted by an increase in cases of beta variants on the French island of Réunion, in the Indian Ocean.

Anyone arriving from France, including those who are fully vaccinated, must self-isolate for 10 days.


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