Last week, the Government set out our framework for the safe return of international travel – setting out how we can reopen this travel safely, without compromising our hard-won achievements made through the vaccine roll out and our communities impeccable adherence to the most recent lockdown. I joined Robert Courts MP, Aviation Minister, to hear about this directly on Monday.
International travel is absolutely vital to our national and local economy, as we know in Mid Sussex due to our proximity to Gatwick, and the impact it has on our local economy and jobs. Therefore, as we move forward with our roadmap for the easing of lockdown restrictions, we understand that many people may need to travel for a variety of reasons most notably for family reasons.
This is why the Global Travel Taskforce has produced this traffic light system:
- Green: arrivals will need to take a pre-departure test as well as a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test on or before day 2 of their arrival back into the UK - but will not need to quarantine on return (unless they receive a positive result) or take any additional tests, halving the cost of tests on their return from holiday.
- Amber: arrivals will need to quarantine for a period of 10 days and take a pre-departure test, and a PCR test on day 2 and day 8 with the option for Test to Release on day 5 to end self-isolation early.
- Red: arrivals will be subject to restrictions currently in place for ‘red list’ countries which include a 10-day stay in a managed quarantine hotel, pre-departure testing and PCR testing on day 2 and 8.
It is currently too early to predict which countries will be on which list over the summer, and the Government are continuing to consider a range of factors to inform the restrictions placed on them, and will set out by early May which countries will fall into which category, as well as confirming whether and indeed how international travel can resume from 17 May.
This is a significant step forward in the return to international travel and the wider reopening of Gatwick, offering peace of mind to both passengers and the industry as we begin to take trips abroad once again – while we remain cautious and will not throw away our hard-won achievements which have come from these tough lockdowns and the impact of vaccine rollout.