LBC Views: The traffic light travel system was disastrous, Dean Dunham writes

21 June 2021, 21:03

Dean Dunham gives his LBC View
Dean Dunham gives his LBC View. Picture: LBC
Dean Dunham

By Dean Dunham

LBC Presenter Dean Dunham reflects on Government’s travel traffic light system

The Government’s super-fast vaccine roll-out has rightly won plaudits across the world – we have now delivered at least one dose to more than 42 million of the 53 million population in England.

But its disastrous travel policy, in the form of the so-called traffic light system, has been an international embarrassment and must now be scrapped for a simpler, more transparent system.

There are two main problems with the current traffic light system: i) firstly consumers simply do not fully understand what it all means - every week listeners call and text me during the LBC Consumer Hour asking for clarification of the rules; ii) the second problem is that the current system has created a huge amount of uncertainty, leaving consumers and the travel sector with no confidence as to the future of holiday bookings.

Consumers were told that if a country was to be moved from the Green to Amber, or the Amber to Red list, they would receive ample warning.

The idea was that such countries would be moved to a watch list which would be an indication that passengers had two weeks to get home to avoid the additional testing and quarantine requirements that would be imposed when the destination moved to Amber or Red.

This sounded like an acceptable solution but on 4 June passengers were given just four days’ notice to get back from Portugal, or face spending 10 days in quarantine upon their return.

If Government does not act soon, the traffic light system is going to cause significant consumer detriment and untold damage to the travel sector and economy generally. As a consequence, consumers will shy away from international travel, businesses in the travel sector will go bust, and more people will be out of work.

There is a simple solution, which is to follow many of the other European countries, allowing double-vaccinated travellers to skip quarantine, even from an Amber list destination.

If the rumours are true, the UK may well be adopting a similar scheme from end of July but let’s hope it doesn’t come with lots of bells and whistles; We ultimately need a simple stop or go system.