Tory MPs and the travel industry have criticised the system’s increasing complexity with “watch” list categories for countries at risk of moving up a tier and “amber plus” which briefly required travellers to France to quarantine on return to the UK irrespective of their vaccination status.
A simplification to create a leaner high-risk and low-risk classification for countries would bring the UK more in line with other countries – and focus travel on the vaccination status of the holidaymaker.
“It’s about whether you are vaccinated or not, rather than the country you are travelling to,” said a source briefed on the proposal.
“What it means is that green and amber disappear and only vaccination status will count for where you travel. For a vaccinated person, just as now all countries apart from red are ‘green’.
“For an unvaccinated person, it means that your travel to a green country might be slightly more difficult. There’s a potential psychological boost in that a lot of people think travel to amber is risky whereas if it disappeared, people may be more willing to travel to X, Y or Z.
“It could also incentivise people to get vaccinated. There’s been a slowdown in the rate of vaccination, particularly among younger people and that’s a way to encourage take-up.”