Foreign holiday hotspots ‘will be graded using traffic light system’

PA reporter
·2-min read

Foreign getaway destinations will be ranked under a traffic light system, with fewer restrictions tied to the places boasting the lowest coronavirus rates and high vaccination take-up, it has been reported.

Countries will be graded either green, amber or red, according to how well they are coping with the pandemic, it was claimed.

Hesitancy towards the vaccine across parts of mainland Europe may mean that favoured continental destinations among British holidaymakers are deemed more high-risk than the likes of the US and Israel, where vaccination rates are good.

Summer weather Aug 31st 2020
Holidaymakers may be encouraged to spend their summer at UK destinations, such as Bournemouth beach, if international travel is restricted (Jonathan Brady/PA)

Overseas holidays are currently banned due to the UK’s coronavirus lockdown measures, but Boris Johnson plans to make an announcement on Easter Monday about lifting restrictions in England.

The Times reported that travel to and from so-called red-list countries will be banned, although the Sun newspaper said those arriving back in the UK from such destinations will have to pay to stay at quarantine hotels, as is the current set-up for the worst affected countries.

Both newspapers said green-listed countries would be exempt from quarantine measures.

Any restrictions could put further pressure on Britons to shun international travel in favour of a domestic holiday, amid concerns leaving the UK could increase the risk of introducing mutant coronavirus strains.

Scientific experts have repeatedly said summer staycations should be encouraged over foreign holidays this year.

Dame Anne Johnson, professor of epidemiology at University College London, said the importation of new coronavirus variants is “one of the biggest risks” facing the UK.

She told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Monday: “This is a risk where you’ve got high rates of infection. I’m for staycations.”