YORK Outer MP Julian Sturdy has called for urgent clarification on how the Government’s proposed traffic light system for foreign travel is going to work.

Speaking in the House of Commons, he said the Government must publish detailed reasoning for why countries were placed in particular categories, so that those concerned could assess whether there was a prospect of restrictions being eased.

He also said the Government must recognise that imposing restrictions on travel to and from certain popular European destinations such as France, Spain and Italy would have a disproportionate impact on the UK travel industry and that this should be fully taken into account when deciding the appropriate level of restrictions.

Mr Sturdy said afterwards that he had been contacted by numerous local firms operating in the travel industry and he had felt it was important to press the Government for further clarity in its plans for foreign travel.

"Whilst I support the Government’s plans for a traffic light system to protect the progress that we have made in controlling the virus in the UK, the system should be there to assist the recovery of the travel sector, not to impede it," he said.

"In order to give the public the confidence to book, the Government needs to be very clear on why individual countries are put into particular categories and set out the progress that is needed in order for restrictions to be eased.”

His comments came as a deadline for grading countries under the new traffic light system for international travel has been missed by the Government.

The Commons’ Transport Select Committee issued a report last week which stated that the green, amber and red lists of destinations must be published by today “at the latest”, but this has not happened.

Instead, the Department for Transport has only said the lists will be made public in “early May”.

The ban on overseas leisure travel is expected to be lifted for people in England from May 17 as part of the next easing of coronavirus restrictions.