Summer holiday: Government promises traffic light list 'shortly' as expert says travel will happen 'within limits'

An empty beach in Ibiza Credit: PA

A list of countries deemed safe to visit ahead of the expected lifting of the ban on international holidays for people in England from May 17 is expected soon despite the government missing the publication deadline, the foreign secretary has said.

Dominic Raab told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show that a new traffic light system detailing different rules for people returning from overseas travel depending on the risk is “coming shortly”.

The Commons’ Transport Select Committee issued a report last week which stated that the green, amber and red lists of destinations must be published by Saturday “at the latest”. However, this has not happened.

Foreign holidays could be allowed for people living in England from May 17 at the earliest. Credit: Steve Parsons/PA

His comments come as a scientist advising the government claimed people will be able to go on holiday this summer "within limits" but warned of further outbreaks.

The ban on foreign holidays is expected to be lifted for people in England from May 17 as part of the further easing of coronavirus restrictions.

The traffic light system will be risk-based, with different rules for people returning to England depending on which list their destination is on.

Many people are eager to discover what countries are on the green list to avoid the need to self-isolate.

Mr Raab told The Andrew Marr Show: “We said we’d make the changes on May 17 and we would set out the details of the new system, which is a traffic light system, before then. So, it’s coming shortly.”

Meanwhile Prof Openshaw, Peter Openshaw, Professor of Experimental Medicine at Imperial College London and a member of the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (Nertag), told the Andrew Marr Show it was likely there will still be further outbreaks.

When asked if people will be able to start going on holiday, he said: “Yes, within limits.

“It’s so important that we do not drop our guard completely.

It is unclear which countries will be green on the traffic light system - meaning no isolation upon return. Credit: PA Images

“We know it’s perfectly likely there will be further outbreaks unless we use this time to be very cautious and prepare sensibly.”

The Department for Transport revised a deadline set by a committee of MPs for making the list of of safe countries public to “early May” after missing Saturday's deadline.

Earlier in the week, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said holidaymakers in England will be able to use the NHS app to prove their coronavirus status to destination countries.

Mr Shapps said the app – which is currently used to book medical appointments and order repeat prescriptions – will display evidence that someone has been vaccinated or recently tested.

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