UK travel ‘traffic light’ system needs to be simplified: Doyle | News

British Airways chief executive Sean Doyle has called on the UK government to overhaul its existing “traffic light system” to simplify travel rules for customers.

Since reopening its borders for overseas travel, the UK has categorized countries for travel as green, orange or red status – applying different levels of restrictions for each category. This was reviewed every three weeks, creating a layer of uncertainty for travel – while the creation of the ‘green-watch’ and ‘amber-plus’ categories added an additional layer of complexity.

“The biggest catalyst for recovery will be government policy,” said Sean Doyle, speaking at an event to launch the BA Better World program at London Heathrow on September 7.

“We had the traffic light system over the summer, there has been progress. But I think it’s not fit for purpose, it needs to be simplified, it needs to be adopted the same way we see it in Europe and the United States, and I think that’s the biggest recovery catalyst for the industry.

“And we encourage the government to seek to seize this opportunity in the coming weeks. Aviation needs the same economic boost that other sectors are getting domestically, and we are not up to date with the current system.

An article from the British newspaper The The telegraph of the day yesterday suggested the government was considering scrapping the traffic light system in favor of rules based on Covid vaccination status.

Doyle would not be attracted by the time it would take for BA to recover to pre-crisis capacity levels. But he says, “When the markets open up, what we’ve seen is that the business is there. People want to do business again, they want to visit friends and family, and they want to take a vacation, and they haven’t been able to do that for the past 18 months for sure and we know that they want to start traveling again.”

While fully vaccinated travelers from the US can travel to the UK without quarantine under the existing traffic light system, restrictions on non-essential travel from the UK to the US are still in place. lifted.

“It’s a political process. When you look at the data and the fact that Europe and the UK have high levels of vaccination there is very good monitoring of the pandemic, citizens cannot travel to the United States but they can come from ‘Other countries,’ says Doyle, ‘I don’t understand the data or the logic, so it’s in a political process. The sooner this is unblocked the better, because it is important for our economies, important for trade and we encourage politicians to solve this problem.

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