MP calls for new safeguards for tourists visiting 'amber list' countries

Ipswich MP Tom Hunt Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Ipswich MP Tom Hunt Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Ipswich MP Tom Hunt has called for new safeguards to help holidaymakers travelling to "amber list" countries - unless the "green list" is significantly expanded this week.

He suggested the government should consider a ruling that people on a short holiday could return under the same rules that were in place when they flew out.

"The government is being cautious, and wants to  keep an eye on the borders to make sure we don't import problems.

"But that needs to be balanced with the fact that many people do want to go abroad," he said.

The MP suggested, if people were going to one country for a maximum of two weeks, they could be given an assurance that the rules would not change while they were on holiday.

So, if a country was categorised as amber when you fly out, you would not need to change your arrangements even if it moved to the red list, which requires hotel quarantine for 10 days.

Mr Hunt said many people had decided to holiday in the UK, and were having a great time. But others wanted to go abroad for some guaranteed sun and for their mental health, and also for family reasons.

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"I think everyone wants to get a break and go on holiday because it's beneficial for our mental health.

"But if you have to keep checking your phone to see if the country's category has changed, it leads to anxiety and goes against the whole point of the holiday."

He said he understood prime minister Boris Johnson was currently looking at expanding the green list with more countries being added, provided it was safe to do so, and this would be another way of giving more confidence to holidaymakers.

Mr Hunt's comments come after new rules, allowing fully-vaccinated passengers from the US and amber-list European countries to avoid self-isolation on arrival in the UK, came into force at 4am on Monday, August 2.

But despite the relaxation of quarantine requirements, uncertainty continues around international travel, with rumours that a possible new "amber watchlist" may be introduced, applying to countries at risk of being moved into the red category.

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