London, April 5 2021: Britain has gradually lifts COVID restrictions without negative consequences, and the country is now planning to restart international travel using a “traffic-light” mechanism where destinations will be labelled green, amber and red depending on the the risk posed by the virus. The tentative date for resumption of travel is 17th May this year.
The ban created a huge demand for summer holidays abroad, “We are doing everything we can to enable the reopening of our country… as safely as possible,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson said. The new system “will help ensure the UK’s vaccine progress isn’t jeopardised and provide clear guidance for travellers”.
People heading to low-risk “green” countries will simply take a virus test before and after they travel, the government said. But those going to amber or red countries will have to self-isolate or quarantine afterwards. Currently people arriving in the UK from abroad are required to self-isolate for 10 days.
British nationals who arrive from a banned “red list” of high-risk countries face costly quarantine in government-approved hotels. The government has announced it will allow a number of people to attend public events such as football matches from this month in trials of a virus certification system.
The UK has already given out more than 31 million first vaccine doses and over 5 million second doses. The rollout has far outstripped popular holiday destinations such as France. This has boosted the public mood after more than 126,000 people died from the virus in the United Kingdom.
Residents of England will be able to access two free rapid virus tests per week, a measure aimed at curbing symptom-free virus spread. Health Secretary Matt Hancock urged people to take up the offer, saying “getting back to normal hinges on us all getting tested regularly”. The lateral flow tests will be available at workplaces, community sites, schools and colleges. People will also be able to order delivery of the tests.
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