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Transport Committee Chair comments on news of expanded Green list of countries deemed safe for travel

25 June 2021

Reacting to the news of the expanded Green list of countries deemed safe for travel, Chair of the Transport Select Committee, Huw Merriman MP said:

“These changes are a move in the right direction. The additions to the green list offer more potential for quarantine-free holidays for UK travellers. But like an oasis just out of reach – travel to more than 150 countries on the amber list is still unnecessarily difficult.

In the latest analysis of figures from NHS Test and Trace, only 0.4% of passengers to amber list destinations between May and June tested positive for coronavirus. For 151 of the previous 167 amber list countries, there were no positive cases at all. The Government must apply its own logic of using the data to admit going abroad is safe for those who have had both jabs. They must consider this in time for the start of the July summer holidays.

As we dither, the EU is considering imposing two weeks quarantine on visitors from the UK. This would be madness. 60% of our population have been double-jabbed. Public Health England research shows that immunisation reduces the chance of onward virus transmission by 40 - 60%. Yes, the EU are only at 28% of their population being double-jabbed but our citizens can provide proof of jab and test before they travel. In a good year, UK tourists spend £25 billion in the EU and directly support 380,000 jobs. That’s a lot of cash and a lot of furlough for the richer EU nations to pay to the Mediterranean countries. Of course, the Government have been too slow to allow us to go and spend our vaccine dividend so it’s a lower compensation bill than it could be.

This muddle shows the need for the UK Government and the EU to work together to allow us to travel to each other’s shores using the vaccination certificate or testing and leave quarantine behind.”

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