Boris Johnson has quashed the idea of instating a new “amber watch list” for foreign travel after fears of the devastating impact it could have on people’s summer holiday plans.
According to multiple reports this evening the Prime Minister has elected to bin the proposal, which triggered outrage on the Tory backbenches.
The reports came after Johnson said he wanted to make the travel system “as simple and user-friendly for people as possible”.
The change of tack comes ahead of an update to the government’s travel traffic light system later this week.
Under the “amber watch list” category, countries on the “amber list” could be designated as being at risk of moving to the “red list” at the short notice.
Holidaymakers returning from “red list” destinations face paying £1,750 on return to quarantine for 10 days in selected hotels.
Such a cost could cripple many families who have booked summer getaways in August and September.
When the proposal was revealed, it met with fury from Tory MPs.
Conservative MP and transport committee chair Huw Merriman said the amber watchlist would be a “big red flag” for would-be tourists and would lead to holiday bookings for these countries to “collapse”.
He told the BBC: “In my view, we don’t need any more uncertainty, complexity, or anxiety for passengers, or this beleaguered sector. It just needs clarity. I would urge the government not to do anything with it.”
It has also been speculated that Tory MPs are worried about their constituents’ holiday plans being cancelled.
Tory MP Henry Smith told the Telegraph that the “original traffic light system was easy to understand”.
“There is a clear set of criteria. If you add levels of complexity, you increase confusion and therefore discourage travel,” he said.
“It isn’t helpful in terms of passenger confidence.”