Boris told to scrap traffic light travel system as amber watchlist plan ditched

Holidays hang in the balance for millions of Britons (Picture: PA)

Boris Johnson is being urged to scrap the traffic light system for travel after he axed plans for a new ‘amber watchlist’.

The Prime Minister faced a furious backlash from Tory MPs and travel bosses over the proposed new category, which would have marked nations at risk of being moved onto the red list.

It could have wreaked havoc for millions of Britons, who may have faced a 10-day stay in a hotel quarantine for £1,750 if Spain, Greece or Italy turned red.

But with the plans now dropped, more than 300 travel firms have written to the PM urging him to cut the traffic light system to just a red list for the destinations with the worst infection rates, the Daily Mail reports.

The Save Our Summer group also say double-jabbed Britons should be permitted to travel to any country that will allow them to enter.

It is a similar system to the US, where fully vaccinated Americans can avoid a quarantine if they take a test before departure on their return.

The group urged the PM to act ‘swiftly’ to save tens of thousands of jobs in the hard-hit travel industry.

Their letter states: ‘We urge Ministers to simplify travel urgently so that at least the key travel month of August can be salvaged.

‘The traffic light system should be either abandoned or made much easier, along the lines of the American system.

‘There would continue to be some red countries which would be out of bounds but the majority of destinations would be accessible to the fully jabbed.

‘This easy-to-understand policy would help the UK travel sector recover, build confidence quickly among consumers and still protect our country’s health needs with pre-departure testing.’

United Airlines, Trailfinders, and Regent Seven Seas Cruises were among the signatories, who were backed by Crawley MP Henry Smith last night.

The Tory MP, whose Crawley constituency includes Gatwick Airport, told the Mail: ‘I’m in favour of anything that is simplified and more easy to understand.’

The PM’s U-turn on the ‘amber watchlist’ came after he said ‘a balanced approach’ was necessary, adding: ‘What I want to see is something that is as simple and as user-friendly for people as possible.’

He added the success of the vaccination campaign meant the British economy was ‘just about the most open in Europe’ but there was a balance to be struck on travel because of the risk of importing new coronavirus variants.

He said: ‘We also have to recognise that people want, badly, to go on their summer holidays, we need to get the travel industry moving again, we need to get our city centres open again and so we want an approach that is as simple as we can possibly make it.’

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