COVID-19: Travel bosses call on PM to ‘follow the science and extend Green list’ | Business News

CEOs from the UK’s leading aviation and tourism businesses have called on the prime minister to clarify his position on international travel and add more countries to the Green list.

The group – which includes CEOs of CEOs of easyJet, TUI, Jet2, and the Manchester Airport Group – agreed with the need for a traffic light system and the Red list as a necessary safeguard against the risk of COVID-19 variants.

However, they argue the success of the UK’s vaccine rollout and the effectiveness of jabs in protecting against all known variants, including the Indian variant, supports an expansion of the green list to low-risk countries.

They also say many of these countries also have significant levels of vaccinations, and rapidly decreasing case numbers.

“The science shows that travel can safely reopen to much of Europe now and most European governments have opened up travel for their citizens with far fewer restrictions and exemptions for fully vaccinated travellers,” said Johan Lundgren, CEO of easyJet.

Mark Tanzer, CEO of Abta – The Travel Association, said: “It makes no sense for ministers to say people shouldn’t travel to amber countries when the Government’s own system allows people to do so in a risk-managed way.”

Andrew Flintham, Managing Director for TUI UK and Ireland, said: “Getting away on a much needed holiday to key destinations like Spain, Greece, some Caribbean Islands and the US should now be possible because of the excellent vaccination programme in the UK, increased vaccinations in these destinations, low rates of the virus and no evidence of variants of concern.”

But scientists recently warned that if travel restrictions are relaxed too far, the UK risked importing new variants that could derail its progress.

As a result of more international travel, “imports are likely to become an increasingly important part of new transmissions circulating within the UK”, said Professor Martin Hibberd, of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

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