Deadline missed for release of holiday lists

The Transport Select Committee said the Government’s failure to publish the lists by Saturday ‘could cost people their jobs’.

A passenger at Heathrow
A passenger at Heathrow

A deadline for grading countries under the new traffic light system for international travel has been missed by the Government.

The Commons’ Transport Select Committee issued a report last week which stated that the green, amber and red lists of destinations must be published by Saturday “at the latest”, but this has not happened.

Instead, the Department for Transport (DfT) has only said the lists will be made public in “early May”.

The ban on overseas leisure travel is expected to be lifted for people in England from May 17 as part of the next easing of coronavirus restrictions.

The traffic light system will be risk-based, with different rules for people returning to England depending on which list their destination is on.

Many people are eager to discover what countries are on the green list to avoid the need to self-isolate.

Tory MP Huw Merriman, who chairs the committee, said the categorisation of countries is “the bare minimum” that the travel industry and consumers need to make preparations for May 17, and the lack of information means they are “still in the dark”.

He went on: “Uncertainty has been prolonged. This uncertainty could cost people their jobs.

“How can it be right that countries with slower vaccination roll-outs are safely reopening to international travellers while the UK stays static?

“The Government is in danger of squandering the opportunity to take advantage of the UK’s world-leading vaccine dividend as countries across the globe begin to open up for international travel.”

A DfT spokeswoman said: “The Government has not missed a deadline.

“We have always said we will confirm by early May if international travel can resume on 17 May and which countries will fall into which list.

“This will determine the requirements for travel for passengers.”

She added that the Government’s Global Travel Taskforce is working towards restarting international in a “safe and sustainable way”.

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