Covid travel: France hope as ‘amber plus’ rules could go


minister on Tuesday raised hopes that people returning from France will no longer have to quarantine under “amber plus” rules.

Skills minister Gillian Keegan suggested that the Government’s “traffic light” system for foreign travel would be limited to red, amber and green categories, with plans for an “amber watchlist” having been ditched last night after a backlash from Tory MPs, aviation chiefs and travel bosses.

Currently, people returning from France have to self-isolate for 10 days even if they are fully vaccinated, although they have the option of taking an extra Covid test after five days that releases them from quarantine if the result is negative.

But after the row over the amber watchlist, Ms Keegan told Sky News: “We are trying to tread this careful balance between opening up travel but also keeping the country safe.

“We have explored many options. But effectively what we want to do is keep it simple enough for people to really understand and obviously be able to take their own decisions based on the system.”

Britons who are double-jabbed do not have to quarantine on their return from amber list countries.

Travel expert Paul Charles, director of The PC Agency, said he expected further changes to the rules, claiming “high level” sources had told him the amber plus and green watchlist categories would be dropped.

Despite the abandoning of the amber watchlist, travel chiefs said there had been no immediate surge in bookings and expected most customers to wait for the outcome of the latest review of the traffic light system later this week.

Noel Josephides, chairman of tour operator Sunvil, said he had seen no signs of an uptick, with bookings still running at about 10 per cent of normal.

He said: “What the Government needs to do if it really wants to save the summer is come out and say ‘we will leave Greece, Spain and Portugal in amber but we will guarantee that between now and October we will not change the guidance.’”



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