“USE YOUR COMMON SENSE”: This is the message from Transport Secretary Grant Shapps when it comes to foreign travel
Grant Shapps, the Foreign Secretary, told Sky News that people should use their “common sense” when it comes to travelling abroad.
In an interview with Sky, he discussed the traffic light system and tried to clear up any confusion about the difference between a red, amber and green country.
He said "we've moved away from a situation where everything is 'it's banned it's illegal', I know we've got very used to this in the last year. We're moving away from that and asking people to apply a bit of common sense."
He added that countries on the red and amber list are not for going on holiday. He said that all countries, by default, are designated amber. Then if evidence emerges that a particular country is succeeding at controlling coronavirus, for instance with the vaccine rollout and is efficiently managing the situation, they can be designated green.
If it goes the other way however and there are emerging concerns for a certain country, they will then be bumped up into the red list. He reiterated that amber countries are not for going on holiday, saying “there’s a lot of cost, and hassle, and quarantine when you go to those countries.”
Some of countries currently on the red list are:
Almost all countries in South America, the UAE, India, Maldives, South Africa, Pakistan, Qatar and Kenya.
Some of the countries on the amber list are:
Most of continental Europe, all Northern and some central parts of Africa, the US, Central America, China, much of the Middle East and Russia.
Some of the countries on the green list are:
Australia, New Zealand, Gibraltar, Iceland, Portugal, Israel and Singapore.
Complete lists and guidance on what to do when travelling abroad can be found on this government website.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said that people should only travel to countries on the amber list for urgent business or in the case of a family emergency.
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