The government have revealed that they are currently contemplating bringing in a four-tier traffic light system that would allow people to go abroad during the summer.
However, even though the UK could allow people to travel, there are no certainties that Europe would agree to the plans. Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden has spoken about how ministers are now at an early stage of thinking through the traffic light system, allowing residents to travel abroad. These conditions would be of note to UK nationals returning from holidays, festivals or even artists performing at festivals.
The Telegraph reported at the weekend that Heathrow Airport had recommended a system with four levels. These levels would be colour based and were green, yellow, amber and red. Countries on the green list would have access to enter the UK with no travel restrictions attached. However, those travelling from nations on the yellow list would need proof of testing or vaccination certificates.
No entry will be permitted from high-risk red list countries unless you have a job, so you must travel there for work.
Dowden told Sky’s Sophy Ridge: “Clearly there are challenges around international travel, you only have to look across the continent and see the rising case rates in many of our nearest neighbours.
“It has been in the past the case that those rising infection rates have seen their way to the UK, we’re hopeful that won’t happen this time round because of our progress with the vaccine and so on, but we do need to be cautious about that.”
Heathrow’s chief executive John Holland-Kaye commented: “The UK’s progress in the global vaccine race coupled with advances in testing, means that ministers no longer need to choose between public health and the economy – a risk-based approach to international travel will allow us to protect them both.”
He added: “Restarting trade and travel to key markets like the US after 17 May will be key to the government achieving its Global Britain ambitions and helping communities across the UK to level up.”
The majority of festivals in the UK that have been announced have relied heavily on domestic artists. This policy change is due to musicians potentially being banned from coming in from abroad. However, European festivals depending on British artists could be the ones to suffer the most if foreign travel is restricted.