Traffic light travel system ‘flawed’ says Sheffield travel operator after Balearic Islands U-turn

A Sheffield travel agent says the traffic light travel system has been “flawed for a long time” after it was announced that the Balearic Islands would move to the amber list in a major U-turn by the Government.
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The latest UK travel update was announced by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps on July 14, with the new rules to take effect in England from 4 am on Monday.

The announcement comes as a huge blow to unvaccinated holidaymakers who had booked trips to destinations including Ibiza, Mallorca and Menorca when the destinations were moved to the green list during the last travel review.

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Speaking about the changes to the Balearic Islands, Shapps said: “Unfortunately when we put them on the green watchlist from then we’ve seen the rates double, and also the rates of positivity of these tests double, meaning that we’re going to have to move quickly.”

The island of Ibiza will be added to the Amber list at 4am on July 19. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)The island of Ibiza will be added to the Amber list at 4am on July 19. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
The island of Ibiza will be added to the Amber list at 4am on July 19. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

However, it was announced last week (July 8) that fully vaccinated people will be able to return from amber list countries without the need to quarantine from July 19, meaning there is still hope for those who have had both doses of the vaccine.

Speaking about the travel list, one Sheffield travel agent said: “I’m in the industry, and I think the red, amber green list is so confusing for people, it’s been flawed for a long time, and it’s just a confusion. It’s a massive issue for the travel industry."

Croatia and Taiwan will move to the green watchlist, meaning arrivals in England will not have to isolate for ten days on return regardless of their vaccine status.

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The ‘watchlist’ status means that these countries could turn amber again in the near future.

Bulgaria and Hong Kong will be added to the green list, which means travellers will not have to quarantine on return to the UK regardless of vaccine status.

Arrivals from green list countries will need to take a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test on or before day two of their arrival back into the UK – but will not need to quarantine on return (unless they receive a positive result).

Many ‘green list’ countries will continue to place restrictions on UK travellers, including quarantine measures, so passengers are encouraged to check all requirements and FCDO travel advice before they book any foreign travel.