Grant Shapps dashes hopes for green list
The government seems to be going from bad to worse in its tone towards foreign travel. From sounding relatively optimistic a few weeks ago we are now being told to “holiday at home”. Despite the fact that you are far more likely to catch Covid-19 (and the Delta strain) in the UK rather than Malta that has 7 cases a week, Shapps is adamant that there will not be much expansion to the green list anytime soon. Apparently, this is because he wants to avoid more cases of the “Delta” variant being imported. Personally, I’m more worried about people spreading it around the UK with their domestic holidays!
He denied that the government was going to add more countries on the green list soon, but I would still expect one or two to make the list next time such as Malta. Shapps said that they were waiting for other countries to catch up in terms of vaccinations before they expanded the list. Well, Malta stands at 48% fully vaccinated, we are at 50%…..
Biden & Johnson discuss UK-US travel today
Today the Prime Minister and President Biden are expected to agree to work to relaunch UK-US travel as soon as possible through a new travel working group that will make recommendations on safely reopening international travel. The announcement about a US/UK task force was made yesterday by Grant Shapps who said that they wanted to open up travel “as soon as possible”. Given the time it takes for these things I would not expect anything for at least 6-8 weeks at a bare minimum. If that is the case, the travel industry will miss out on yet another crucial summer season, likely meaning the end for some companies.
The working group will work to explore options for resuming UK-US travel and ensure that the UK and US closely share thinking and expertise on international travel policy in the future.
The government statement said “Links between the UK and US are not only crucial for our people, they create and sustain jobs across and throughout our two countries.”
A statement is expected on Thursday evening to give the outcome of the talks.