The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson made a statement on 14th June where he confirmed that as not all of the four tests for proceeding to Step 4 in the roadmap have been met, the next step will be delayed until 19th July 2021. Setting out the reasons behind the delay, the PM said
“there will be a review after two weeks and I am confident that the delay would not need to be longer than four weeks”Boris Johnson, Prime Minister
By the 19th July the Government have pledged to:
- administer double jabs to two thirds of the adult population
- bring forward the target to give a first dose to every adult including those aged 18+
- those in the 40+ category will wait only 8 weeks and not 12 between vaccines
- 23 and 24 year olds will be invited for their first dose from today
Updated guidance on what you can and cannot do in England
The guidance on what you can and cannot do in England has been updated with a summary of changes from 21 June, including more information on weddings and events.
Tourism Recovery Plan is launched
Tourism Minister Nigel Huddleston MP has announced the Government’s Tourism Recovery Plan. The Plan recognises the economic potential of the sector, sets out a clear policy direction for the future and outlines the ambitions for domestic and international tourism, with the aim to:
- Recover domestic overnight trip volume and spend to 2019 levels by the end of 2022, and inbound visitor numbers and spend by the end of 2023 – both at least a year faster than independent forecasts predict
- Ensure that the sector’s recovery benefits every nation and region, with visitors staying longer, growing accommodation occupancy rates in the off-season and high levels of investment in tourism products and transport infrastructure
- Build back better with a more innovative and resilient industry, maximising the potential for technology and data to enhance the visitor experience and employing more UK nationals in year-round quality jobs
- Ensure the tourism sector contributes to the enhancement and conservation of the country’s cultural, natural and historic heritage, minimises damage to the environment and is inclusive and accessible to all
- Return the UK swiftly to its pre-pandemic position as a leading European destination for hosting business event
Government confirms a return to international travel from 17th May (England)
On 7th May Government gave the much anticipated announcement of the return to international travel. The Transport Minister confirmed the ‘traffic light’ list, stating that the list of countries and territories would be reviewed every three weeks and that strict controls would remain in place.
A summary of the points from the Transport Minister’s announcement are as follows:
- International travel will resume from 17th May 2021 (Step 3 England)
- Strict border controls will remain in place
- There will be a traffic light system in place which will determine what protocols arrivals need to take i.e testing, quarantine
- The list will be reviewed every 3 weeks
- A watch list will be published to indicate a destination’s potential change in traffic light category
- There are currently 12 ‘green list’ countries identified view them here arrivals from green list countries do not need to self isolate or quarantine
- Covid-19 vaccination status will be live in England from 17th May, proof of vaccination (2 doses) via the NHS app
Traffic Light System (England)
- Green list of countries and territories – from 17 May: if conditions change in a country or territory, it can be moved from the green list to the amber or red list. If that is likely to happen, this will normally be flagged in the green watchlist. If there is a sudden change in conditions, a country or territory may be moved between lists without warning.
- Transport Secretary’s Statement to Parliament: the Transport Secretary has published a statement to parliament on the re-opening of international travel on 17th May which restates the traffic light system, but he says that with the roll-out of vaccine programmes increasing overseas, he is hopeful of adding more countries to the green list as the summer progresses. However, he cautions that this will be done slowly, and green list countries will be placed on a “watchlist” if we start to have concerns.
- Traffic Light Methodology: the Government has updated the document in which it outlines its methodology on how it assigned different countries to Green, Amber and Red categories by including a link to more information on Variants of Concern and Variants Under Investigation. View how this was applied to the different countries here
- Stakeholder Toolkit: DFT have published a stakeholder toolkit to help businesses with the core messages and requirements for international travel to/from England. Download the toolkit here
- Quarantine Guidance Update: How to quarantine when you arrive in England has been updated to include the ability of amber and green arrivals to travel to a test site for their day 2 and day 8 tests.
- Demonstrating Vaccine Status: the guidance has been updated to say people who do not have access to the NHS smartphone app should call the NHS helpline on 119 and ask for a letter that confirms their status. You must wait at least 5 working days after you’ve completed your course of the vaccine.
Surge Testing deployed as additional measures
To stop the spread of new variants, Government is deploying surge testing as an additional measure in partnership with local authorities. When there is a need for the public to take action, the Government publishes these areas on the website here. This employers pack aims to help businesses communicate to staff what the steps are and how they can support the Government.
PM announces plan for ‘Global Pandemic Radar’
Prime Minister announces plan for a new ‘Global Pandemic Radar’ to identify and track new COVID variants and emerging diseases. The WHO will lead work with the UK, Wellcome Trust other partners and nations to develop an advanced international pathogen surveillance network. New network builds on UK health security expertise to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and prevent future pandemics.
UK Government publishes the Passenger COVID-19 Charter
The government has today published the Passenger COVID-19 Charter. This document brings together all guidance on rights, responsibilities, and reasonable expectations regarding international travel whilst COVID-19 measures remain in place. Please note that this is not new policy and does not place any further burden on transport and travel providers. The Passenger COVID-19 Charter will support industry by bringing clarity to consumers through a trusted source in a clear and accessible format. To support stakeholder’s communications, DfT has developed a summary of the Passenger Covid-19 Charter and a digital checklist for passengers to use when planning travel. Read the press release for more information.
Updates from the Devolved Administrations
- Scotland: From 17 May, Scotland will move to a traffic light system that, at present, mirrors the England traffic light system. Find out more about the steps out of lockdown
- Wales: First Minister Mark Drakeford announced that Wales will move into alert level 2 on 17th May. International travel will also restart for people in Wales, the Welsh Government has confirmed today. As part of changes to Wales’ coronavirus regulations, people living in Wales will be able to travel to some overseas destinations without the need to quarantine on their return. A traffic lights system, aligned with England and Scotland, will be introduced. Countries will be classified as green, amber and red, depending on their rates of coronavirus.Mandatory quarantine is in place for all people returning to the UK from countries on the amber and red lists. All people returning from overseas travel must have a PCR test
- Northern Ireland: The NI Executive confirmed a relaxation of restrictions as of today (24 May) and also announced its green list countries
- To see the number of cases of COVID-19 in England and the UK visit the UK COVID-19 dashboard
- View the latest R Number and Growth Rate figures
- To see the number of cases globally see the World Health Organisation dashboard
Correct as of 15 June 2021