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The United Kingdom’s Global Travel Taskforce has set out plans to safely resume international travel, including plans for a new traffic light ranking system, a “green watch list” and the introduction of a new travel certification system.
The Global Travel Taskforce’s report on the safe return of international travel suggests travel could resume as soon as May 17, 2021. While testing and quarantine measures would remain in place, passengers would no longer need to prove they have a valid reason to leave the country. Currently, international travel is only permitted where you have a reasonable excuse to leave the U.K., such as essential work or business reasons where it is not reasonably possible to complete that work within the U.K.
The permission to travel form would be eliminated, but other measures would be taken to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
Traffic Light System.
The traffic light system would categorize countries as “green,” “amber” or “red” based on their risk for spreading COVID-19. Officials would consider factors such as (1) the percentage of the country’s population that has been vaccinated, (2) the country’s rate of infection, (3) the prevalence of variants of concern in the country and (4) the country’s access to reliable scientific data and genomic sequencing.
Quarantine and testing measures would remain in place for all travelers entering the United Kingdom, but would apply differently as follows:
“Green Watchlist.” U.K. officials plan to introduce a “green watchlist” of countries that are at risk of moving from “green” to “amber.” This would give passengers more predictability about which protocol they would be subject to upon returning to the U.K. Officials stress, however, that while the watchlist would help warn travelers of potential changes, they would not hesitate to move countries into different categories immediately if necessary. The watchlist nonetheless aims to provide “greater assurance” for those wishing to travel abroad.
Travel Certification. Officials said the U.K. would play a leading role in developing international standards for a digital travel certification program. Such a program could facilitate both inbound travel and outbound travel to countries that have their own travel certification programs in place.
Analysis & Comments: The resumption of international travel and the elimination of the requirement that people provide a valid reason to leave the U.K. are certainly welcome developments, not just for business travelers but also for those wishing to travel internationally for leisure purposes. Travelers should note, however, that May 17 remains an ambitious target date, and officials stress that this is the earliest possible date for international travel to resume. Restrictions will also be formally reviewed on June 28, taking into account the international COVID-19 health picture at that point in time. Measures may be relaxed or tightened at that point in time. Further formal reviews will also take place over the course of the next six months. Additional information is expected in the coming weeks and Deloitte will provide further updates in due course.
Rest of World Source: Deloitte. Deloitte refers to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (“DTTL”), its global network of member firms, and their related entities. DTTL (also referred to as “Deloitte Global”) and each of its member firms are legally separate and independent entities. DTTL does not provide services to clients. Please see www.deloitte.com/about to learn more. Deloitte Legal means the legal practices of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited member firms or their affiliates that provide legal services. For legal, regulatory and other reasons, not all member firms provide legal services. This includes Deloitte Tax LLP in the United States, which does not provide legal and/or immigration advice or services. This communication contains general information only, and none of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, its member firms or their related entities (collectively, the “Deloitte network”) is, by means of this communication, rendering professional advice or services. Before making any decision or taking any action that may affect your finances or your business, you should consult a qualified professional adviser. No entity in the Deloitte network shall be responsible for any loss whatsoever sustained by any person who relies on this communication. © 2021. For information, contact Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited.
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