Amber watchlist plan abandoned by PM amid political and industry backlash

In the face of opposition from many Tory MPs and a backlash from the travel industry, controversial government amber watchlist plans were rescheduled.Boris Johnson ended the project after being warned that it could have caused hundreds of thousands of British holidaymakers in Britain to cancel their peak summer vacations.After the prime minister stated that he wanted to make the system as simple and as user-friendly as possible for people, the government was preparing to update its travel-light ratings on Thursday.Johnson's allies confirmed to Financial Times that the amber watchlist, under which a country could potentially be placed on the red list, had been dropped.More: The government is more confident about expanding green and amber listTui plans resumption of more amber list destinationsThis assertion was supported by government sources and a variety of media outlets, despite growing opposition.The U-turn was well received by the travel industry. Airlines UK chief executive Tim Alderslade described it as "excellent news."He said that this is a victory for common-sense. The PM is right on target. People want a consistent and clear travel system that is easy to understand and practical.Alderslade tweeted: We need to keep pushing and make sure we get more countries on the green list this week.This is the last saloon for the summer season. The review period covers the remainder of August. It's therefore even more important than usual.Julia Lo-Bue Said, chief executive of Advantage Travel Partnership, said that scrapping plans to create an amber watchlist would make some sense.In a tweet, she said: Green, green and green should be the focus of the PM if he really wants to make a difference.Lo-Buesaid also tweeted: The PM must remove all unnecessary tests, including pre-departure vaccinations. Green must be increased and the contempt shown the travel industry needs to acknowledged. Despite the success of the vaccine, confidence remains low.Ten countries could be added to the greenlist this week, but none of them are likely to be major European summer sun destinations.Jim McMahon, Labour's shadow transport secretary, called for the government to release the data that underpins its decisions and give maximum transparency to passengers and the travel industry.For travelers to feel confident about their travels, he said that clear information was required about the situation with infected countries.McMahon stated: Ministers have failed to protect our borders and allowed the Delta variant to enter the UK in such force. They also refuse to be honest with the public or the industry.Huw Merriman, chairman of the Commons Transport Select Committee, welcomed the removal from the amber watchlist.He stated that the traffic lights must be in three colors to convey confidence and stability.The amber watchlist was strongly criticized by Tory MPs as well as the travel industry. It is a sixth category of the traffic light system. Media reports suggest that some popular destinations like Spain and Italy could have been included.Industry experts had warned people who booked trips to countries on the amber watchlist that they might have to cancel their trip in order not to risk high hotel quarantine costs. It would have been difficult to find flights home as soon as their destination was added to the red list.Henry Smith, Conservative MP from Crawley, and chair of all-party Future of Aviation group, stated to the FT that an Amber Watchlist would have added complexity, uncertainty, and greatly discourage international travel.More: The government is more confident about expanding green and amber listTui plans resumption of more amber list destinations