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Travel traffic light system signals gradual restart of holidays overseas

The government’s long-awaited traffic light system, which signals the gradual restart of overseas travel once more, was announced last week, writes Wittering Travel Counsellor Emma Savage

There was much anticipation and speculation regarding which countries would make the coveted green list and which would be left languishing in amber and red.

In the end, the list was - at best, short and at worst fairly useless – many of the 12 green destinations are not places the British public generally would take a trip to very often, such as the South Sandwich Islands and Tristan de Cunha. Moreover, some destinations on the list might well be considered green from our side, but from their perspective they haven’t opened up for visitors yet – such as Australia. (Anyone trying to get there anytime soon will be facing disappointment). Therefore, from the travel industry’s viewpoint it was a somewhat confusing message and hasn’t done a great deal to get travel moving again.

Travel Counsellors infographic. Image: Travel Counsellors
Travel Counsellors infographic. Image: Travel Counsellors

On a more positive note though, this is a start; and a start is better than nothing. The list of countries will be reviewed again at the end of May, just in time for the summer holiday booking window, and it is hoped that Greece and Spain, as well as some other countries, will join the list of green countries. This will enable summer holidays to go ahead without quarantine on return to the UK.

Travellers will still need a PCR test to travel, and on day two back in the UK. This might put some people off but will be reviewed as time goes on. The most important thing is that we are cautious, so as not to undo the good work our vaccination programme has done, but carefully allow businesses and families to start travelling again to revive the beleaguered aviation and tourism sector. It is a balancing act.

At times like these, the services of a travel expert are invaluable. A good travel agent can advise you on entry requirements, guide you to where to obtain a PCR test and steer you through the complexities of adhering to the rules. This is why the personal, human touch will become so important in these coming months and years, as we all negotiate our way through these tricky times.

Emma Savage
Emma Savage

As a Travel Counsellor, I pride myself on being available for my customers from enquiry stage to departure, during your holiday and coming back home. I’m always here for you, including evening and weekends, and I stay up to date to ensure you have the very latest information to make informed decisions on your holiday booking. If you call, it will always be me that answers, so you are assured of my personal attention from beginning to end. If that sounds like the sort of service you would appreciate, do give me a call. I’d love to hear from you.

Visit travelcounsellors.co.uk/emma.savage

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