This will look to take a risk-based approach, making use of the suite of measures the Government already has in place such as testing and isolation and the recommendations from the first Global Travel Taskforce last year.
The Taskforce will report to the Prime Minister and work with UK representatives of the travel sector, including airlines and airports.
It will report on 12th April, with recommendations aimed at facilitating a return to international travel as soon as is possible, while still managing risk from imported cases and Variants of Concern.
Following that, the Government will determine when international travel should resume, which will be no earlier than 17th May.
There will also be reviews into the potential role of Covid-status certification in helping venues to open safely and the safe return of major events.
A review into social distancing will take place to consider how long people need to continue with face coverings and social distancing. This will also inform guidance on working from home.
The announcement comes after The Prime Minister announced the government’s roadmap to cautiously ease lockdown restrictions in England.
In a statement to parliament he paid tribute to the extraordinary success of the UK’s vaccination programme and the resolve of the British public in following the lockdown restrictions, which has helped to cut infection rates and reduce the spread of the virus.
Supported by the increased protection offered by these vaccines, the government can slowly and cautiously begin to ease restrictions in all areas across England at the same time, guided at all stages by data, not dates. The roadmap outlines four steps for easing restrictions at each stage:
- The vaccine deployment programme continues successfully.
- Evidence shows vaccines are sufficiently effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths in those vaccinated.
- Infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations which would put unsustainable pressure on the NHS.
- Our assessment of the risks is not fundamentally changed by new Variants of Concern.
Before proceeding to the next step, the Government will examine the data to assess the impact of previous steps. There will be a minimum of five weeks between each step. The first step is the reopening of schools and colleges from 8th March.
The Department for Transport has been asked by the Prime Minister to lead a successor to the Global Travel Taskforce, with an ambition to develop a framework that can facilitate greater inbound and outbound travel as soon as the time is right, while still managing the risk from imported cases and variants.