Government ‘increasingly confident’ more countries will move to amber or green travel lists, says minister

·2-min read
 (Independent)
(Independent)

Boris Johnson government is “increasingly confident” that more countries can soon added to the amber and green travel lists, a senior minister has said.

Foreign secretary Dominic Raab said he hoped more travel links could soon be opened up for British holidaymakers, as other countries speed up their vaccine roll-out.

“We’ve done the job we had to do domestically and as we see other countries catch up if you like, I think we are increasingly confident that more countries will go either on amber or on to green,” Mr Raab told Sky News on Thursday.

The cabinet minister said holidaymakers would have to wait until next week to see if any changes were made to the travel light system, but he added: “The momentum forward is positive”.

Mr Raab did not rule out the possibility of the popular destinations of France and Spain moving onto a different list at the government’s next review point a week on Thursday.

The government is considering whether to move France from the “amber plus” list, which means double-vaccinated travellers still have to quarantine, back onto the amber list, according to reports.

But Mr Raab said no final decision would be made until next week. “No-one wants to get France onto the amber list or the green list more than I do, but I think it’s right to take evidence from the experts about the variants and the risks that they pose,” he said.

The cabinet minister refused to rule out the possibility there could be tougher rules for Spain, amid reports it could be moved to the so-called “amber plus” list next week.

The foreign secretary also defended the government’s decision to allow fully-vaccinated tourists from the US and EU into the UK without quarantine – claiming there was the “right level of security and assurance”.

But Mr Raab admitted the government “cannot guarantee” that US and EU travellers will not try to show fake vaccine certificates.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “We can’t guarantee that some people might not do it. I think it is highly unlikely.”

The foreign secretary added: “The point here is that, with both the European countries and the US, we are talking about high-trust countries with whom we have not just an intuitive level of high trust, we have active co-operation.

“So we know that we can straighten out any discrepancies we might come across pretty quickly.”

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