The purpose of the traffic light system may have been to protect the country and control the spread of new and existing variants. But now that many countries have lifted strict restrictions on travel, many are left wondering when the UK will do the same.
Stakeholders in the airline industry have repeatedly criticised the government for creating chaos and uncertainty with their fluctuating travel system and urged them to bring it to an end, and according to an insider it looks like that end may actually be near.
End of the traffic light system?
Earlier this week, CEO of luxury travel PR firm PC Agency, Paul Charles tweeted saying that the traffic light system is expected to be scrapped by 1 October. Although his claim has not been confirmed or denied by official authorities, The Independent says that he has been known to announce decisions before they have been made public knowledge. He tweeted saying:
The traffic light system is expected to be scrapped by 1st Oct – at last. Airlines and some of us in the sector are aware of plans to create a simpler system, where countries are either red or not. This would be the US model in effect, which I’ve been calling for.
Scrapping of traffic light system would be a relief to pretty well everyone and herald a ‘living with an endemic’ approach rather than blanket country measures. Would be a relief to countries in Africa, South America, Asia which don’t deserve to be red-listed.
Charles may be right about the traffic light system coming to an end, however the possibility of it happening on 1 October seems highly unlikely. According to the Daily Mail, a government spokesman has said the next ‘checkpoint review will take place on 1 October’ so any decisions will only be implemented after that.
Travel depends on vaccination status
Another source spoke with The Telegraph about the proposed plan and hinted that the traffic light system could in fact be undergoing major changes. The source revealed that the green and amber lists in particular could be discarded and one’s ability to travel would depend more on their vaccination status than that of the country's. They explained:
It’s about whether you are vaccinated or not, rather than the country you are travelling to.
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’.