Testing for green list countries

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

Research commissioned by easyJet suggest 61% of Brits want travel to and from ‘green list’ countries free of travel restrictions this summer.

An easyJet survey shows people think green list countries should have no flight restrictions

What chance is there of that happening?

It means that two countries have to agree on removing the need to test. It could happen, for example, with Gibraltar, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man a good deal more easily than other destinations. If I had to pick, I would suggest Malta and Greece, two countries that are working hard to attract Britons this summer, could also be amenable to such a solution.

But will the UK government and the devolved nations agree? After all four governments have a say in where we can travel as we have found out over the last year.

At present, if you visit a destination on the green list, travellers must take a PCR test before travelling but why? Governments – either our own ones or that of the destination will say that it is necessary to stop the possibility of a spread. Others will say that if the incidence is so low, the risk is low of people catching the virus.

Unfortunately there was evidence from New Zealand on Tuesday that might support government thinking.

Just two days after the travel bubble between Australia and New Zealand started, an airport worker at Auckland Airport has come down with the virus. Whilst the person was not in contact with the Australia/New Zealand flights, they were unloading/loading cargo from one of the high risk destinations.

Does that mean that cold surfaces on the planes carry the virus or was the person in contact with one of the flight crew?

It means sanitising must be stricter.

A story like this makes governments jittery, even more so such as the evidence from India where the government allowed festivals and some opening only to be hit with a surge that has yet to be brought under control, and which has placed the country on the UK’s red list.

The USA is expected to tighten its rules on travel overseas and add over a hundred countries to it’s don’t fly register as it faces upsurges in some states.

What also gives governments anxiety is what has happened in India and in Chile.

In Chile, their summer is primarily in January and February.  With a high number (in comparison to many places) of vaccinations, a relaxation to allow people into the open air has only led to an increase in cases at a higher rate than might be expected. Destinations in the northern hemisphere and wondering why cases have gone up yet didn’t during the summer last year in Europe?

What no country wants is another wave so they will be naturally cautious secure in the knowledge that most people support safety.

And that is why testing  – even in those destinations on the green list – might continue this summer.

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