NEWS: Biden & Johnson discuss UK-US travel today and Grant Shapps dashes hopes for green list

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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%…..

He told Sky News “What no one wants to see us doing now is to screw that all up by inadvertently re-attracting the coronavirus . . . into this country”.

 

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.

 

8 Comments on "NEWS: Biden & Johnson discuss UK-US travel today and Grant Shapps dashes hopes for green list"

  1. The UK Government would much prefer us to spend our hard earned money in the UK so bolstering the already C-19 bashed finances than see it all be spent in foreign climes. Looking at the ONS web site (https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/leisureandtourism/articles/traveltrends/2019) you are looking at £62.3 billion, yes, billion, not million being spent abroad by UK nationals in 2019. No wonder Grant Shapps wants us to holiday in the UK !!

  2. 6-8 weeks you mentioned makes sense given the UK task force to create the coloured lists took 2 months.

    Let’s hope, this time, the two of them actually use some common sense and get this done much quicker.

    I know…. I know…

  3. Reuters and John Hopkins Uni have UK down as 42.7% fully vaccinated as of the 10th. Where does 50% come from?

  4. Roger Cormack | 11 June 2021 at 7:32 am | Reply

    Let’s look at this another way! Is it not rather reckless and socially inconsiderate of us who are prepared to travel on holiday to Malta with only 7 Covid cases a week when we have 50,000 cases a week? Should we not spare a thought about the risks that we will take spread the Delta variant elsewhere? Malta aside, we should certainly not be travelling to any country that does not share a progressive vaccination programme.

    • That is a consideration which individuals need to take into account. The issue in the U.K. is that there is huge disparity in areas. So if you take someone vaccinated coming from a non hotspot where cases are generally 8-16/100,000 then given that you have to test before you go then that’s about as safe as you will get. If it’s someone unvaccinated from a hotspot then yes it’s not a good idea really. So no it’s not reckless depending on the situation. This is the whole problem with the Covid situation. Sadly you can’t always rely on people to think through the situation and act appropriately so we have to make rules for the lowest common denominator.

      • As you know Michele, I’ve worked in the industry for over 30 years and thank God I’m retired. I know people running airlines and tour operators around the world who are hanging on by the skin of their teeth – I’m AMAZED they have survived so long. Here, I have NO CONFIDENCE Shapps is competent to make these decisions- he appears to be doing little to support oor fantastic travel industry.

        • Agreed. I honestly can’t understand why if they are going to be so draconian on travel they don’t support the sector properly.

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