More confusion as minister says it's fine to go to an amber list country to visit friends but NOT go on holiday

A MINISTER today caused more confusion over holidays after he said it was fine to go to an amber list country to visit friends – but NOT to go on holiday.

George Eustice said people were allowed to go abroad to travel "to see family or friends" – but the official Government advice says people shouldn't go there.


It isn't illegal to go to amber list countries, but people are discouraged from going abroad on holiday as of yesterday, when the rules were relaxed.

The traffic light system splits up countries into green, amber and red – and people are allowed to travel freely to green list countries only.

Amber list countries force people to quarantine at home on their return, and red list ones mean travellers will have to stay in a dedicated quarantine hotel for 10 days.

Ministers have lifted the legal ban on holidays, meaning Brits can now travel again.

But people are being urged not to travel to amber list countries unless there's an emergency reason.

The Government website says: "You should not travel to amber list countries or territories."

Mr Eustice told the BBC this morning "The reason…we have the amber list is that there will be reasons people feel they need to travel either to visit family or friends.

"They can travel to those countries but they then have to observe quarantine when they return and have two tests after returning.

"People can travel to those areas but they then have to subject themselves to the quarantine requirements."

It came just hours after Matt Hancock urged Brits not to go to amber list countries at all.

And meanwhile, Public Health England's Professor Kevin Fenton warned that Brits shouldn't be heading abroad just yet because of the worrying variants, in particular the Indian strain which has seen cases surge by 77 per cent.

He told BBC's Today programme: "We recognise that while things are opening up, and removing more [restrictions] and mixing more, there are still risks we need to contend with."

He also said Brits shouldn't "travel unnecessarily if you don't need to" until the summer, until more information is available about the variants.

When asked if Brits should think twice about going on holiday abroad right now, he said: "If you're able to, that would be good."

"Just until we have more certainty about what's happening with the variants and whats happening in other European countries and other holiday destinations.

"And ensuring that if you do travel – follow the guidelines on testing before, testing after you return and most importantly, isolating if returning from amber or red countries."


But thanks to the fines being dropped, there's technically nothing to stop people going away, as long as they isolate when they return.

Yesterday Brits flocked to green list destinations including Portugal as holidays got the green light.

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