BTA welcomes traffic light system

By Bev Fearis, published 1/07/20

The Business Travel Association has welcomed the Government’s plans to replace the blanket quarantine and travel ban with a more targeted 'traffic light' system.

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Transport Secretary Grant Shapps confirmed on Monday that the FCO is reviewing its blanket ban on non-essential travel and said details would follow later this week.

Instead, there will be a traffic light system in place with countries classified as green, amber or red based on the prevalence of coronavirus. Only arrivals from countries in the red category would need to quarantine for 14 days

Industry sources said there are indications the list of destinations may be bigger than the 15 being reported in the media last week.

American Express Global Business Travel met with the Department for Transport last month and provided data on the top 10 business travel routes from the UK based on customer demand.

Countries in the ‘green’ category are expected to include France, Italy, Spain, Greece, Belgium, Germany, Norway, the Netherlands, Turkey and Finland.

Clive Wratten, Chief Executive of the Business Travel Association, said: “The blunt and ineffective blanket quarantine is being replaced by the smarter, more targeted traffic light system and that’s a positive step forward. We’ve already seen a spike in enquiries from companies keen to get travelling and trading again, and many jobs will be saved once travel corridors to business destinations are in place.

“But business travel won’t resume overnight and half of all jobs across the sector are now at risk. Business travel contributes £220 billion a year to UK GDP and it’s essential that the Government extends the furlough scheme for the sector until the end of this year to help sustain this vital enabler for our economy.”

The BTA had initially proposed a pilot travel corridors scheme, which would include on-the-spot Covid-19 tests on arrival at UK airports.