‘The momentum forward is positive,’ says foreign secretary
Boris Johnson government is “increasingly confident” that more countries can soon added to England’s amber and green travel lists, a senior minister has said.
Foreign secretary Dominic Raab said he hoped more international travel links could soon be opened up for British holidaymakers, as other countries speed-up their vaccine roll-out.
“We’ve done the job we had to do domestically and as we see other countries catch up if you like, I think we are increasingly confident that more countries will go either onto amber or onto green,” Mr Raab told Sky News on Thursday.
The cabinet minister said holidaymakers would have to wait until next week to see if any changes were made to the travel light system, but he added: “The momentum forward is positive”.
Mr Raab did not rule out the possibility of the popular destinations of France and Spain moving onto a different list at the government’s next review point a week on Thursday.
The government is considering whether to move France from the “amber plus” list, which means double-vaccinated travellers still have to quarantine, back onto the amber list, volgens berigte.
But Mr Raab said no final decision would be made until next week. “No-one wants to get France onto the amber list or the green list more than I do – but I think it’s right to take evidence from the experts about the variants and the risks that they pose," hy het gesê.
The cabinet minister refused to rule out the possibility there could be tougher rules for Spain, amid reports it could be moved to the so-called “amber plus” list next week.
Asked what holidaymakers thinking about booking a trip to Spain should do, Mr Raab said: “You’ll have to judge it on the traffic light system we’ve got in place right now.”
The foreign secretary also defended the government’s decision to allow fully-vaccinated tourists from the US and EU into the UK without quarantine from Monday – claiming there was the “right level of security and assurance”.
But Mr Raab admitted the government “cannot guarantee” that US and EU travellers will not try to show fake vaccine certificates.
He told BBC Radio 4’s Vandag program: “We can’t guarantee that some people might not do it. I think it is highly unlikely.”
The foreign secretary added: “The point here is that, with both the European countries and the US, we are talking about high-trust countries with whom we have not just an intuitive level of high trust, we have active co-operation.
“So we know that we can straighten out any discrepancies we might come across pretty quickly.”
The foreign secretary also revealed he had been contacted by counterparts in other countries after Wednesday’s announcement to lift restrictions on travellers from the US and EU.
“Overnight I’ve had foreign ministers messaging me to say, ‘We’ve noticed the [US-EU] announcement, what can we do to do this on a reciprocal basis’,”Het hy aan Sky News gesê.
Mr Raab said the government wanted to set up travel corridors with other “high-trust” countries. “The key thing about the EU and EU, we’ve got high trust in the mechanisms for verifying double vaccination – those are the kinds of countries we’d want to pursue.”