Transport secretary Grant Shapps has urged UK residents to “apply a bit of common sense” when deciding whether to travel to amber list destinations following the lifting of the ban on foreign trips.
Shapps made the comments during a string of media interviews on Thursday (20 May) morning following days of criticism and confusion about the traffic lights system, which only came into operation on Monday (17 May).
“People should not be using the red and amber lists to go holiday,” Shapps told BBC Breakfast.
“You should only go to amber countries in extreme or exceptional circumstances. We are starting to shift responsibility back to individuals to look at what are the right and wrong things to do. We are asking people not to [go on holiday to amber countries]. If they do go, they have to take a vast series of tests.”
Shapps also addressed the issue of passengers from red list countries having to queue alongside other travellers in the arrivals hall at Heathrow’s Terminal 2.
“We do want to see people separated out as much as practically possible,” said Shapps. “We have asked, and I think Heathrow will respond to this by the beginning of next month. It’s possible we may use unused terminals – there is excess capacity.”
He added Heathrow was looking at the possibility of using a separate terminal for passengers arriving from red list countries.
Meanwhile, the government is increasing the number of home visits to check people are complying with quarantine rules after returning from amber countries.
Home secretary Priti Patel has warned travellers from amber list countries, such as Spain, Greece and France, to expect a visit from officials to ensure they are complying with the 10-day quarantine rule.
Quarantine enforcement is being stepped up by the government which said it can now carry out up to 10,000 home visits per day. Those breaking self-isolation rules face a £10,000 fine.