Just 1 in 260 returning from amber list nations had Covid and none had variants

Just one in about 260 people tested after arriving from amber list countries had Covid and none were carrying variants, according to latest data.

Under the government’s traffic light system, countries are grouped in to green, amber and red list zones depending on the Covid risk.

Most are in the amber category which requires a mandatory quarantine on returning to England as well as booking a number of coronavirus tests.

According to recently released government data none of about 23,000 people who were tested after returning from amber list countries from May 20 to June 9 were found to be carrying Covid variants.

And just 89 out of the 23,465 people, about one in 264, tested positive for Covid.

The figures comes ahead of a planned review of the system set for this week

The Daily Telegraph reports that the data, from the Department of Health & Social Care, has led to calls for the government to review the traffic light system altogether.

Paul Charles, the chief executive of travel consultancy the PC Agency, was reported to have said: “The Government’s own testing data clearly show amber countries are low-risk, with no variants of concern to worry about and increasing vaccination rates.

“The data proves that a change of policy is now needed.

“A wider green list and more flexibility for those [who are] double jabbed would boost consumer confidence, generate more bookings and help travel firms to recover faster. With this NHS data, no government minister has an excuse to delay reopening now.”

The DHSC data found none of the people arriving from 151 of the 167 amber countries had tested positive for Covid between June 3 and 9 and no variants were detected in any of the 89 people who did test positive from the 16 other amber countries.

Among the red list countries it was reported that some 435 of the 24,511 people arriving tested positive, with 89 sequenced as variants.

None of the 503 people who were said to have been tested after arriving from green list countries tested positive.

Government sources were reported to have told the publication that not all test results were sequenced, meaning the data could provide an incomplete picture.

The traffic light system for travel will be up for review on June 24 before any changes are confirmed next Monday.

Most popular summer hotspots such as Spain, France, Italy and Greece are on the amber list. Travellers returning from those countries must self-isolate at home for 10 days.

Nearly 200,000 UK travel jobs have been lost or are at risk due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to new analysis from travel trade organisation Abta.

The government launched a traffic light system for international travel last month but there are currently few viable major tourist destinations on the green list.

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