MAG to appeal traffic light case against UK government

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After the High Court backed the government in a legal case over the traffic light system airport group MAG plans to ask for “leave to appeal” the ruling. 

The UK airport group, which owns and operates three UK airports, including Manchester (MAN), London Stansted (STN), and East Midlands (EMA), teamed up with several British airlines to call for more transparency over how the UK government determines how countries are classified as red, amber or green under its traffic light system for international travel. 

The court decided in favor of the government. But MAG is planning to appeal once it has the full court verdict, an MAG spokesman was quoted as saying by local media on August 26, 2021. 

The Court verdict is expected by mid-September 2021.

“Only once we have [the Court verdict, ed.-] can we decide on next steps,“ an MAG spokesman said, according to Travelweekly.

MAG was joined in the legal case by Ryanair, easyJet, Virgin Atlantic, TUI UK, and International Airlines Group (IAG).

On August 26, 2021, the UK government updated the traffic light system lists and moved 

Seven countries from the amber to green lists. New green-listed countries include Canada, Denmark, Finland, Lithuania, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, and the Azores, with changes coming into effect on August 30, 2021. Meanwhile, Thailand and Montenegro were moved from the amber list to the red following the increased COVID-19 cases rate in named destinations.

Even those who are fully vaccinated and traveling from green or amber list countries are still required to pay for tests before departure and once arriving back to the UK. 

MAG chief executive Charlie Cornish said the latest changes would do little to help the UK travel industry, which is lagging behind that of Europe.

“Europe’s stronger recovery has been driven by the removal of testing requirements on vaccinated travellers,” he said in a statement on August 27, 2021.

“Unless the UK also removes the need for people with full immunity to take these tests, we will continue to squander the advantage our world-leading vaccination programme was supposed to deliver, while passengers on the continent travel restriction-free to low-risk destinations.”

Cornish also said the UK must overhaul the traffic light system “immediately”.

“We must arrive at a simpler, more affordable and sustainable travel framework to enable the best possible winter season and give customers the confidence to book ahead for 2022.”




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