News from Britain is that it is moving to the next stage of its ‘roadmap’ out of lockdown, but retaining a “red” list (and adding an “amber” list, plus a “green” one too), but this will herald the start of the opening of UK borders, any time from May 17 onwards.
Currently, most countries in the sub-Saharan region are on the red list.
On Friday last week (April 9) UK Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, launched the framework for the safe return of international travel, based on the report by the Global Travel Taskforce.
The new traffic-light system, which will categorise countries red, amber and green for travel into the UK based on risk alongside the restrictions required for travel, will be set up to protect the public and the vaccine roll-out from international COVID-19 variants, said the Secretary.
The system is intended to replace the current measures for outbound travel from the UK, and once the framework is in place, UK residents will no longer have to fill out a permission to travel form, nor furnish a valid reason for their outbound travel.
It is not yet 100% clear if the new relaxed rules will apply only to returning Britons, or to foreign visitors too.
Presently there is only a “red” list, the amber and green lists are yet to be compiled. The traffic-light system will take effect and replace the current rules on entry no earlier than May 17.
Key factors in the assessment of countries for the traffic-light categorisation will include:
- the percentage of their population that have been vaccinated
- the rate of infection
- the prevalence of variants of concern
- the country’s access to reliable scientific data and genomic sequencing.
The African Travel and Tourism Association (ATTA) is continuing its lobbying efforts to move sub-Saharan countries out of the UK’s red list.