10 MAY 2021
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The much-heralded international travel press conference took place last Friday (7 May) hosted by the secretary of state for transport, assisted by Dr Jenny Harries from the UK Health Security Agency, and Paul Lincoln, head of Border Control. (See COMMENT in this week's BTN)
Whilst clearly sympathetic to the travel industry Mr Shapps made the Government’s position very clear “Today marks the first step in our cautious return to international travel, with measures designed above all else to protect public health and ensure we don’t throw away the hard-fought gains we’ve all strived to earn this year.”
The news was much as expected.
From 04:00 Wednesday 12 May, the Maldives, Nepal and Turkey will be added to the RED list. If you have been in a country or territory on the red list in the last 10 days you will only be allowed to enter the UK if you are a British or Irish National, or you have residence rights in the UK. You will need to book and pay for a government hotel package for ten days’ quarantine.
The first press question focussed on the Chelsea v Manchester City Champions League Final scheduled for Istanbul 29 May. Mr Shapps was unable to answer although he did suggest a move to a UK stadium.
Arrivals from AMBER list countries must take a Covid-19 test prior to their inbound travel, quarantine at home for ten days and book and pay for day 2 and day 8 tests once arrived.
With the exception of Gibraltar, Iceland, The Faroes and Portugal travel to the countries on the GREEN list are not practical from a short holiday point of view. Passengers will need to take a Covid-19 test before returning.
The message to airlines was clear. The onus was on them to carry out all necessary checks or risk facing fines of £2,000 for each passenger they carry who does not have a valid pre-departure test certificate, and £2,000 for each passenger who does not have a completed passenger locator form.
All comments are filtered to exclude any excesses but the Editor does not have to agree with what is being said. 100 words maximum
Peter Smart, Laurencekirk
Update from Caledonia! Earlier today (Tuesday 11 May), the First Minister announced that as of 17 May, Scotland would adopt the same traffic lights system to international travel as the rest of the UK. So you may now travel to and from Faroes via Edinburgh from early July without punitive quarantine. Faroes is a truly beautiful place, with the airport on the only flat piece of land in the islands - gives a bit of a buzz when landing/taking off.
Peter Smart, Laurencekirk
Oh goodie! We’re free to travel again. Falklands: twice a week courtesy the RAF. Ascension: no flights currently. St Helena: via South Africa (red list). South Georgia, South Sandwich, Tristan da Cunha: no airports. Oz, NZ, Brunei: only via Singapore, other gateways amber or red. Faroes: from early July via Edinburgh twice a week: don’t come back that way or you’ll be in managed quarantine unless Scottish rules change, use Copenhagen. Singapore, Iceland, Portugal, Gib and Israel: choice of routes. Residents of devolved admins: no freedoms yet, politicians too busy on other things over the past few weeks!