Before we get into the frustrations of amber, let’s take a moment to acknowledge that the announcement on Friday (7 May) by Grant Shapps does at least move us forward.
While much of the discussion on the traffic light system inevitably focuses on the detail, I remind my team not to forget the bigger picture. By my estimation, when we reach 17 May, 133 days will have passed since it was last legal to travel abroad without a reasonable excuse. Longer even than the first lockdown.
That will soon be over. While the pace may seem achingly slow, the government has, I have to admit, stuck to the roadmap announced on 22 February without having to fall back on the “no earlier than” caveat deliberately attached to each step.
Sure, it would have been nice for the 17 May date to have been earlier. Sure, it would have been nice to get more notice of the traffic light lists. Sure, it would be nice if testing wasn’t so onerous for green destinations. And sure, it would certainly be nice if more destinations were green (and actually open to UK residents) right now.
But the framework shows a genuine intention to restart international travel, it has progressed on track, and nobody can really blame the government for moving forward with caution.