The Prime Minister addressed the new traffic light system that will classify holiday destinations into three categories, depending on safety. So far only eight nations make the cut for the green list and it is understood that travellers returning to the UK from their holidays in those countries would not have to quarantine.
Mr Johnson told Tuesday’s Downing Street news briefing that the three categories will be published in early May.
He said: “On your very good question about travel, I would love to be able to give you and your readers a clear run down of the countries that we think may be either red, amber or green at this stage.
“We won’t be able to do that yet, as we have said the Global Travel Taskforce has reported but what they have said is that we are really going to need to wait until early May before we can set out which countries are on the list.
“You can see some of the troubles and some of the problems that some of our friends are currently having.
“So I think it would be just premature to speculate about that. I am sorry about that, but we will be saying more as soon as we possibly can before May 17.”
Earlier this month, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said people in the UK could now start thinking of booking trips abroad as the coronavirus figures seemed more favourable compared to some months ago.
He said: “My advice today would be moving on from where we were before, I am not telling people that they shouldn’t book summer holidays and that is the first time that I have been able to say that for many months.
“But I think everybody doing it understands there are risks with coronavirus and of course actually I think people would want to be clear about which countries are going to be in the different traffic light system.
“People will predominantly of course be looking to book in a green country. So there is only two or three weeks to wait before we publish that list itself.
“But yes, tentative progress, for the first time people can start to think about visiting loved ones abroad or perhaps a summer holiday but we are doing it very, very cautiously because we don’t want to see any return of coronavirus in this country.”
During the press conference, the Prime Minister also addressed the new travel ban on India, which was subsequently added to the UK’s red list of Covid hotspots.
Travellers returning from this Friday will have to quarantine for 10 days in supervised airport hotels.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced the decision to MPs yesterday, shortly after Mr Johnson cancelled a trip to New Delhi scheduled for next week.