At least £486 million of taxpayers’ money was spent on implementing the ‘traffic light system’ for international arrivals during the coronavirus pandemic. But the Government “does not know” whether it worked or not, according to a powerful committee of MPs. The Guardian has more.
The traffic light system set the rules for arrivals from every country depending on whether it was on the red, amber or green list. Arrivals from red list countries had to stay in a quarantine hotel for at least 10 days.
The testing and quarantine requirements for people arriving in the U.K. were changed 10 times between February 2021 and January 2022, according to the report by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) published on Tuesday.
The report said the Government “does not know whether the system worked or whether the cost was worth the disruption caused”.
Airlines and holiday companies blamed ministers for the slow recovery of foreign travel due to the rules, with many European countries imposing fewer restrictions.
“Managing cross-border travel was an essential part of health measures introduced by government during the pandemic,” the report said. “Despite spending at least £486m on implementing its traffic light system to manage travel, [the] Government did not track its spending on managing cross-border travel or set clear objectives, so does not know whether the system worked or whether the cost was worth the disruption caused.”