A study carried out by the consulting firm of the former British Airways chief of strategy, Robert Boyle, which includes the British sector medium Travelmole, shows that by the time the ban on international leisure travel in the United Kingdom is lifted, on May 17, the traffic light that qualifies different countries for the risk of contracting Covid I could show only eight of them in green. And hardly any are a relevant summer tourist destination for the British.
Green and amber
If the predictions of these experts are true, only USA, Gibraltar, Israel, Iceland, Ireland, Malta, Australia and New Zealand they would be on the green list for international travel, while most of Europe would be amber.
This would mean that the British could escape quarantine back to their country only if they wear one of those countries in green, since it is foreseen that, for these “green” countries and when returning to the United Kingdom:
– the traveler must take a prior test (it is not clear whether at the destination, before leaving, or upon arrival in the UK)
– also a PCR on or before your second day of arrival in England
– you will not have to self-quarantine upon return (unless the test result is positive) or carry out additional tests.
On the contrary, if it really happens that almost all of Europe is in amber, this would mean that travelers returning to the UK from one of the countries on the amber list should:
– self-quarantine for a period of 10 days
– carry out a pre-departure test
– carry out a PCR on the second day of your arrival
– perform another PCR on the eighth day. They will also have the option to pay for a private COVID-19 test on the fifth day and if the result is negative, they will be able to end their self-isolation early.
Be that as it may, the traffic light does not make things much easier either, apart from the fact that the obligation to Performing so many PCRs considerably increases the cost of the trip, even for those returning from a country on the green list.
The June 2020 quarantine
If the traffic light serves to qualify entire countries and a more limited selection is not made to regions, the main Spanish beach destinations could be harmed, as happened last summer. A positive situation of the pandemic figures in, for example, the Balearic Islands, would go unnoticed by a possible consideration of Spain in the amber list. Something similar happened last summer, and airline corridors with specific regions were ultimately frustrated by the UK’s decision to impose, on July 25, a second quarantine on all of Spain.
A subsequent analysis of the impact of that quarantine made many think that in reality the decision made by the Government of Boris Johnson had more political and strategic motivations than health
Already with the quarantine imposed in June 2020, the British media and the tourism industry in that country had the fly behind their ears. On June 4 we published in HOSTELTUR this article: The UK quarantine: a matter for politicians and not scientists. The thesis, defended by a large part of the British tourism sector and by some media, such as The Independent, was that although the Government of Boris Johnson had justified before the tourism sector, society and Parliament, that the quarantine that was going to be imposed in the country on June 8 was a scientists recommendation, it was not really like that.
The Prime Minister’s chief scientific adviser, Sir Patrick Vallace, made it clear on several occasions at the time that this unprecedented measure had been decided only by ministers.
A general quarantine like the one applied in June by the United Kingdom – and then again in July – has value, the British media recalled then, when the infection rate of a country is lower than that of other countries. In this way, the local population is protected and imported cases from countries with worse numbers are avoided. However, the UK had at the time one of the highest infection rates in the world. Despite everything, the quarantine was implemented.
England lifted the quarantine with Spain on July 4, allowing a complete restart of the industry and vacation packages. But this was short-lived.
The quarantine of July 2020
After a brief pause of relative normality, the British Government decided to reimpose the quarantine, specifically, from the early hours of Sunday, July 26: The British Government again imposes the quarantine for Spain.
As a consequence, Scotland, which had announced that same Monday that removed the quarantine for travelers from Spain, it decided to re-implement it in line with the decision made by Downing Street. Ireland had not removed Spain from its list of countries in need of isolation.
At that time, criticism against the British Government by the country’s tourism industry increased again, describing the news as “devastating”, as well as “excessive” and not justified by the evolution of the virus in Spain
This decision meant that the destinations where the British market is the main one, practically finished the season or, as a lesser bad thing, saw it very shortened and limited to markets more subject to the seasonality of July and August.
However, despite the great damage that this closure caused to the British broadcasting industry, the almost 45 million Britons who go abroad each year were able to spend their money within their own country, as we told in How the United Kingdom has made the Britons will spend the summer at home.
Summer 2020 UK staycations meant extra revenue of £ 8 billion (almost 9,000 million euros) in the domestic market, money that was no longer spent on its travel issuing sector and in your favorite destinations, like Spain (see: Staycations in the UK: almost € 9bn extra money in revenue).
Right now, as of April 20, the UK continues to generate more doubts than certainties in the travel industry, in British preferred destinations and in the citizens themselves, who are eager to travel again.
There is not a day that a minister or other government official does not appear in the media to warn that “it’s too early” to think about summer vacation and to discourage the British from making reservations (see: The British Government insists: reserving now for the summer is premature).
From the outside, and witnessing what happens only through what transpires in the British media about the intentions of the Johnson Government, the feeling is that the Cabinet is torn between two opposing forces.
One, the evidence of the British interest in traveling and the urgent need for the travel industry to get back into business. And the other, the temptation to make it as difficult as possible to try to get as many citizens as possible to stay at home and spend their money on a vacation within their own territory, something that after three months of close-and-shut closure would suit them. very good to the British economy
The lack of clarity of government decisions is so great that this is one of the reasons that he pointed out. Jet2 CEO Steve Heapy, to justify the decision to cancel all its programs until June 23.
In a letter sent to his partners of the different tourist destinations he flies to, explaining the decision to them, Heapy complained about “lack of clarity” regarding possible travel restart dates and the requirements that operators must meet as of mid-May. He assured that “we cannot operate in this environment of uncertainty and we must act to protect our business and our colleagues.”
This criticism, that of generating uncertainty and never giving clear planning with clear criteria, has been received by the British Government numerous times from the country’s tourism sector.
So, despite the fact that we already know how the British traffic light will work this summer, the doubts remain more than the answers. Some doubts with two aspects: on the one hand about what will the epidemiological and immunization situation be this summer in the UK itself and in British favorite destinations, and on the other, what is the real intention of the government of Boris Johnson regarding international travel.