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Details of Government Travel Traffic Light System published


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The Government has unveiled details of how it plans to open up foreign travel this summer, with countries to be graded under a new traffic light system which will determine whether travellers need to quarantine and what coronavirus tests are required. The Covid Tests required before you return home will be at your own expense.

 

https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/news/2021/04/travel-restrictions-coronavirus-testing--traffic-lights-/?fbclid=IwAR2R0wU8Z7HVClMOOcMaM0oDsaW0ZvKlopQP0P2tIOIgBu3vNUGiGuM3R_A

 

 

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1 hour ago, Snow Hill said:

The Government has unveiled details of how it plans to open up foreign travel this summer, with countries to be graded under a new traffic light system which will determine whether travellers need to quarantine and what coronavirus tests are required. The Covid Tests required before you return home will be at your own expense.

 

https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/news/2021/04/travel-restrictions-coronavirus-testing--traffic-lights-/?fbclid=IwAR2R0wU8Z7HVClMOOcMaM0oDsaW0ZvKlopQP0P2tIOIgBu3vNUGiGuM3R_A

 

 

 

Thanks for the link as it does not seem likely there will be much on TV about it today.

 

This is likely the most important point from the article in the link:-

 

But for the first time I think there is light at the end of the tunnel and we'll be able to restart international travel, including cruises by the way, in a safe and secure way.

 

It does not identify what that means though.  My own interpretation is that you may be able to get on a cruise to an international destination later this year, but do not expect to get off in another country (and quite possibly even in the UK) and expect to just roam off independently like you used to do.  That and other restrictions mentioned in various documents regarding "covid safe" cruising could also stay in place for some time to come.

 

Another quote from the link of interest is:-

 

The Government says its restrictions will be formally reviewed on 28 June and then again no later than 31 July and 1 October, although the Government has also said it "will not hesitate to act immediately" should the data show that countries risk ratings have changed.

 

 

So the Government "will not hesitate to act immediately", which means we can likely be seeing the same scrambles for flights to avoid quarantine as were seen last year.  A bit difficult to do that if you are out at sea on a cruise ship, so I wonder how many international cruises (or more to the point willing cruisers) will exist later this year.

 

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From P&O Twitter account

 

Response to the report of the Global Travel Taskforce from P&O Cruises president Paul Ludlow.

You may have seen in the news earlier that the above report has been presented to the Prime Minister by the Secretary of State for Transport.

P&O Cruises welcomes the announcement that international cruises can restart alongside the wider resumption of international travel, in line with the “traffic light” system. P&O Cruises would also like to acknowledge and thank the various government and industry bodies that have been involved in finding a route forward for our industry.

Given the complexities of our business, combined with the need for extensive forward planning, there is much work to do to ensure details are understood and we will know more in the coming days and weeks ahead.

As you will have seen from our announcements when we launched the series of UK coastal cruises for this summer, there has been extensive collaboration between industry, government, health authorities and ports during the last twelve months to put in place measures to protect the health and wellbeing of all on board and the communities we visit and these go beyond those of any other travel sector. 

We would like to reassure you that as soon as there is further clarification on our international restart, we will, of course, keep you fully informed and advise you as soon as possible. In the meantime we do hope you will enjoy a UK coastal staycation with us from June this summer on Britannia and Iona.

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Also on Sky News

 

https://news.sky.com/story/how-will-the-traffic-light-system-for-international-travel-work-and-will-tests-get-any-cheaper-12269883

 

A comment in article on enhanced consumer rights which I imagine will apply to other forms of transport as well airlines

 

• The Civil Aviation Authority will be given additional enforcement power to act on airlines that have breached consumer rights

• A COVID-19 charter will be introduced from 17 May, setting out what is required of passengers and what their rights are while the measures are in place

 

Also on BBC News, seems travel companies not happy with proposals 

 

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-56682226

What is the travel industry saying?

The government's plans have been met with mixed reaction from the travel industry.

  • Heathrow Airport chief executive officer John Holland-Kaye expressed concern about the requirement for PCR testing, adding "we need to make sure that travel is something anyone can do and is not just something for the wealthy"
  • Industry body Airlines UK said that the proposed framework "does not represent a reopening of travel as promised by ministers"
  • Mark Tanzer, boss of travel trade organisation Abta, said permitting the use of lateral flow tests would "make international travel more accessible and affordable" 
  • Jet2.com has extended the suspension of its flights and holidays up to 23 June following the government's announcement 
  • Tui said it was "disappointed" at the "expensive" testing and quarantine measures proposed

 

 

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2 hours ago, Snow Hill said:

Also on Sky News

 

https://news.sky.com/story/how-will-the-traffic-light-system-for-international-travel-work-and-will-tests-get-any-cheaper-12269883

 

A comment in article on enhanced consumer rights which I imagine will apply to other forms of transport as well airlines

 

• The Civil Aviation Authority will be given additional enforcement power to act on airlines that have breached consumer rights

• A COVID-19 charter will be introduced from 17 May, setting out what is required of passengers and what their rights are while the measures are in place

 

Also on BBC News, seems travel companies not happy with proposals 

 

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-56682226

What is the travel industry saying?

The government's plans have been met with mixed reaction from the travel industry.

  • Heathrow Airport chief executive officer John Holland-Kaye expressed concern about the requirement for PCR testing, adding "we need to make sure that travel is something anyone can do and is not just something for the wealthy"
  • Industry body Airlines UK said that the proposed framework "does not represent a reopening of travel as promised by ministers"
  • Mark Tanzer, boss of travel trade organisation Abta, said permitting the use of lateral flow tests would "make international travel more accessible and affordable" 
  • Jet2.com has extended the suspension of its flights and holidays up to 23 June following the government's announcement 
  • Tui said it was "disappointed" at the "expensive" testing and quarantine measures proposed

 

 

This mornings Mail said that lateral flow tests will be acceptable for foreign travel, and that the test kits will be provided free by the govt, including the test kit to be done prior to return.  Which seems sensible since we are all going to be provided with 2 free test kits per week shortly.

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It's basically just a fudge. 

From a cruising point of view it is worse than useless.

You go on a cruise that visits countries in the red, amber and green locations, but you do not get off at any port. What is your situation when you get back to the UK? Quarantine or not?

 And how will tests (and the actual type of  tests are yet to be determined) be administered and  examined, when a ship is travelling for three or four days prior to arrival back in the UK?

These are difficult times, but this traffic light system is an absolute dog's breakfast  !

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7 hours ago, wowzz said:

It's basically just a fudge. 

From a cruising point of view it is worse than useless.

You go on a cruise that visits countries in the red, amber and green locations, but you do not get off at any port. What is your situation when you get back to the UK? Quarantine or not?

 And how will tests (and the actual type of  tests are yet to be determined) be administered and  examined, when a ship is travelling for three or four days prior to arrival back in the UK?

These are difficult times, but this traffic light system is an absolute dog's breakfast  !

It might work for single destination holidays, and that’s a big might, but they haven’t thought about multiple destinations. A cruise will call at multiple locations each could be on a different list, which list applies on return?  
 

Who organises tests on passengers on a ship the size of the Iona especially when last few days of a cruise could be sea days, ships don’t have labs to facilitate examining PCR tests. 
 

If you don’t leave ship, but other passengers do, how what happens then are you considered as still needing test/quarantine etc.

 

Once again Johnson’s Government haven’t really thought this out I can understand why travel industry are not happy with the idea, except Paul Ludlow it seems. 
 

Hopefully more detail will be forthcoming before 17th May on how it will work in respect of ensuring tests are done correctly.

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1 minute ago, FamilyCruiserUK said:

So if you have to provide a negative test 72 hours before travel wil people not go to their local testing site and take a free test? 

 

I think that you only get a non-personalised result from a local test site. To go abroad you will need a personal result that shows your individual details. 

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Posted (edited)

You get a text message with your name and details on it sent to your phone and email. I have done plenty through work and before i deployed to places. 

Edited by FamilyCruiserUK
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At least this does not apply to the staycation cruises so if you are going on one of them you can relax.

Foreign cruises, a can of worms. If booking a foreign holiday you need to be, an optimist?, foolish?, desperate? rich?

 

Or can you relax? If there is a COVID case aboard are we all then going to have to isolate on return to port and pay for test? Fun eh!

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31 minutes ago, FamilyCruiserUK said:

You get a text message with your name and details on it sent to your phone and email. I have done plenty through work and before i deployed to places. 

I stand corrected. Dies the text show the date of the test, and your d.o.b address etc ?

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45 minutes ago, wowzz said:

I stand corrected. Dies the text show the date of the test, and your d.o.b address etc ?

Hi wowzz, I have just looked at my last test result and it states your name, D.O.B and date test taken as well as result. I have used this test result text to fly in and out of Cyprus feb this year

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1 hour ago, davecttr said:

At least this does not apply to the staycation cruises so if you are going on one of them you can relax.

Foreign cruises, a can of worms. If booking a foreign holiday you need to be, an optimist?, foolish?, desperate? rich?

 

Or can you relax? If there is a COVID case aboard are we all then going to have to isolate on return to port and pay for test? Fun eh!

 

Granted foreign cruise can be a can of worms but dont forget a lot of us have been lifting and shifting cruises since last year, In fact my aug 21 cruise has been booked since they were released early last year.

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41 minutes ago, FamilyCruiserUK said:

Hi wowzz, I have just looked at my last test result and it states your name, D.O.B and date test taken as well as result. I have used this test result text to fly in and out of Cyprus feb this year

Thanks for the update.

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50 minutes ago, FamilyCruiserUK said:

Hi wowzz, I have just looked at my last test result and it states your name, D.O.B and date test taken as well as result. I have used this test result text to fly in and out of Cyprus feb this year

The situation has been that you could only get a gov test if you had at least one of the three main symptoms or have been sent for another reason, (eg research).  To go abroad last year you were not allowed a free gov. test and I expect it will be the same this year as costs were mentioned by Grant Shapps as needing to be reduced.  They could not let some folk have freebies when others have to pay.

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23 minutes ago, tring said:

The situation has been that you could only get a gov test if you had at least one of the three main symptoms or have been sent for another reason, (eg research).  To go abroad last year you were not allowed a free gov. test and I expect it will be the same this year as costs were mentioned by Grant Shapps as needing to be reduced.  They could not let some folk have freebies when others have to pay.

Isn't the government meant to be sending us kits that would allow us to test ourselves twice a week?

Could these tests not be used at least for leaving the UK? 

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14 minutes ago, wowzz said:

Isn't the government meant to be sending us kits that would allow us to test ourselves twice a week?

Could these tests not be used at least for leaving the UK? 

It's been said that it can be difficult for to do these tests properly and could end up with false readings. So maybe best for them to be done by a professional if using the results for travel.

Avril

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Posted (edited)
25 minutes ago, wowzz said:

Isn't the government meant to be sending us kits that would allow us to test ourselves twice a week?

Could these tests not be used at least for leaving the UK? 

 PCR tests needed as mentioned in details.  We will see, but will have to be something acceptable to the gov and presumably other countries as well.

Edited by tring
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2 minutes ago, Adawn47 said:

It's been said that it can be difficult for to do these tests properly and could end up with false readings. So maybe best for them to be done by a professional if using the results for travel.

Avril

Indeed, so it seems fairly pointless to send them out!

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Just now, wowzz said:

Indeed, so it seems fairly pointless to send them out!

Well I never said I thought it was a good idea wowzz😉

Avril

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Posted (edited)

Ships can do PCR testing on board, one of the cruise companies has already set it up but can’t remember which one 🤦‍♀️
Just googled - it is Viking that has this on board facility testing saliva.

Also looks like RCI can too

BA24602C-1746-41ED-A119-7097DE1AD9D8.png

Edited by downsmead
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1 hour ago, Adawn47 said:

It's been said that it can be difficult for to do these tests properly and could end up with false readings. So maybe best for them to be done by a professional if using the results for travel.

Avril

 

The problems with the lateral flow tests is the tests themselves are less accurate, quite apart from any technique differences and they are particularly bad regards false negatives, since they only pick up a positive if the viral load is fairly high.  I have had three PCR tests (never done the lateral flow), two for research and the third for a hospital procedure, and two  out of three were self administered.

 

For the first we had chosen a home kit, (which was always one of the options), since no local test centre and it came complete with instructions and how to return.  The second was when a very local centre had opened so we trundled along to there and the process was still done by ourselves, but whilst being instructed by a member of their staff, who did not really get near enough to check technique.  The third was when I was told to go to a hospital test site 2-3 days before my appointment.  That was a drive through and the member of staff swabbed me, though that test cam back as having failed - just chance though I suspect.  Luckily my procedure went ahead, but they changed the time so I was the last in that day.

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Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, downsmead said:

Ships can do PCR testing on board, one of the cruise companies has already set it up but can’t remember which one 🤦‍♀️
Just googled - it is Viking that has this on board facility testing saliva.

 

You are correct, but I do not believe it is the case for all ships.  Some older ships may not have the space and for the very big ones I suspect it would be a nightmare trying to manage lab facilities and process enough if they test everyone so the cost of setting it up may not go with the pile em high sell em cheap and increase spending opportunities to the max mentality.  Times could change though.

Edited by tring
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