The Foreign Office will reportedly continue to issue its travel advice independent of the government’s new traffic light system, which could result in "green list" destinations effectively being placed off limits to travellers.
The Times reports an FCDO source as saying: "Travel advice is an independent assessment of the risk [to] Brits travelling aboard. It’s independent, trusted advice and will remain so."
One of travel’s key asks of government has been to align any system governing the resumption of international travel with the FCDO’s stance, with its advice still considered to be the de facto go-ahead for travel to a certain country or destination.
Where the FCDO advises against all but essential – or all – travel, travel companies typically suspend departures, unless they are a highly-specialised operator with experience operating to countries that carry such risks.
Travelling against FCDO advice is also the trigger that invalidates the majority of consumer travel insurance policies.
Last summer, the derided travel corridor regime was detached from the FCDO advice, sparking calls ahead of the resumption of international – expected in limited form from 17 May – for the traffic light system to align with the FCDO advice, or vice versa.
Tim Alderslade, chief executive of Airlines UK, the trade body for UK registered airlines, told The Times green and "Amber list" countries "should not be caught up in additional travel advisories".
He said disparity between the traffic light system and FCDO advice risked causing complexity for consumers and limiting their summer travel options.
"We need to see alignment between the Foreign Office advice and the traffic light system to provide clarity and transparency to consumers and operators," said Alderslade.
The Times further reports the majority of European countries will be designated amber under the traffic light system, meaning holidaymakers will be able to travel to a range of popular destinations if they wish, but will have to take a pre-departure test ahead of their return, and then complete 10 days’ self-isolation at home, as well as tests on day two and eight of their quarantine.
It is broadly considered the testing and quarantine rules for all but green list destinations are likely to be too onerous and expensive for the majority of leisure travellers.