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British Airways boss says amber list travel advice is ‘not clear’

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Official advice on travel to amber list countries is “not clear”, the boss of British Airways has claimed.

Chief executive Sean Doyle said there are “many reasons why people need to travel”.

His comments came after Health Secretary Matt Hancock told Times Radio people should not visit amber destinations “unless you have an absolutely compelling reason”.

The amber list includes nearly all popular travel destinations such as Spain, France, Italy, Greece and the US.

People returning to Britain from those countries must quarantine at home for 10 days, take a post-departure test and take two PCR tests after they land.

Mr Doyle told the PA news agency: “The framework is there to deal with risk and I think if people comply with the framework, that’s ultimately achieving what it was designed to achieve.

“I think there are many reasons why people need to travel, and the advice is not clear in that regard.”

Mr Doyle also warned that the UK’s economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic could be stalled, requiring vaccinated people returning from green list countries to take pre and post-arrival tests.

The UK should “remove any friction” for vaccinated people travelling between low-risk countries, he said.

“I worry that despite being well ahead in vaccinations compared to other countries all over the world, we’ll fall behind on economic recovery because we won’t seize the opportunities to simplify the framework.”

The green list is currently limited to just a dozen countries and territories, with Portugal the only major viable tourist destination.

Mr Doyle wants the Government to urgently add the US to its green lists when it conducts a review in three weeks.

“You look at the rate of vaccination, the reduction in the prevalence of infection and also whether variants are being monitored, and I think the US will tick the box on all three counts.

“It’s vaccinated 60% of all adults.

“The cases are falling and falling quickly on a seven-day average.

“They are vaccinating at a rate of about two and a half million people a day.

“If you look at how they’re tracking on the data that’s used to put countries on the green list, I think they should be in.”

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