WTTC urges government to scrap traffic light system
The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has called upon the UK government to abandon the “confusing and damaging” traffic light system.
The body urges officials to replace it with a simpler and easier to understand list of green and red countries.
WTTC says the move would, at a stroke, simplify a system which has become steadily discredited over recent months.
The current scheme has left both holidaymakers and businesses wrong footed, out of pocket and has eroded consumer confidence to travel.
Virginia Messina, WTTC acting chief executive, said: “It’s time the government removed the ambiguity by abandoning the confusing and damaging traffic light system and replacing it with a simple system of green and red categories and clear rules for the vaccinated and unvaccinated, so travellers know exactly where they stand.
“While the rhetoric has changed to a more positive note, what we need is action.
“We need to provide clarity across the UK tourism sector, which has been crying out for the present highly unpredictable system to be dropped, having brought international travel from the UK to its knees.
“The UK should now open its doors not just to fully vaccinated travellers from the US and the EU, but to double-jabbed visitors from all over the world too – showing we’re open for business and ready to welcome all safe travellers.”
The comments come against a backdrop of a gradual loosening of the system.
WTTC argues the government needs to significantly widen the green list so fully-vaccinated UK citizens can get their right back to travel safely around the world and welcome leisure and business travellers alike.
Returning UK visitors also need the day two PCR test to be replaced with an easy-to-use antigen test, like in other countries, with PCR tests only for those testing positive.
Meanwhile, unvaccinated visitors should continue needing to take a test on departure, as well as a PCR test on day two of their return.
WTTC urges coordination with and reciprocity from other countries so that the rules are applied equally and fairly to ensure maximum ease of international mobility for travellers.
The global tourism body believes that re-establishing the freedom of movement around the world is essential to ensure international coordination at every level, underpinned by a data driven, risk-based approach.
Harmonisation would restore international mobility, reduce protocols for vaccinated travellers, highlight the importance of global vaccine recognition, as well as the adoption of digital health passes.