Holidays back on as green list extended
Sun seekers will get more freedom to travel
Britain’s travel industry has been granted its wish to have more countries added to those allowing for quarantine-free holidays.
Majorca, Madeira, Malta and Barbados are among the places being added to the green travel list.
People entering the UK from 16 places will not have to quarantine from 04:00 on 30 June.
The changes were considered on a four nation basis. All four were broadly in agreement, with some slight variations, particularly in relation to those countries on the amber list.
The Scottish Government said there will be close monitoring of the position in the Spanish Balearics over the next three weeks ahead of the next review point.
UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said the government intended to allow quarantine-free travel from amber list countries for people who were fully vaccinated “later in the summer”.
The Scottish Government said it is “cautiously considering the evidence for easing amber list travel restrictions for fully vaccinated people”.
Six destinations have also been added to the red list.
One big obstacle is that German Chancellor Angela Merkel suggested all EU countries should make British travellers quarantine on arrival to slow the spread of the Delta variant.
Industry leaders expressed relief that more routes are being opened and said it should not have required a day of action across the UK to alert minsters to the growing crisis and inconsistencies in government policies.
Joanne Dooey, president of the Scottish Passenger Agents’ Association (SPAA), the professional body for travel agents and the travel sector in Scotland, said: “Travel agents can hope for a surge in bookings as the schools break up.
“Being able to travel to amber countries if you have been double vaccinated is the next positive move we need. We need to bring back customer confidence that holidays can be booked now.”
Travel workers protested at the parliament (pic: Tery Murden)
Jacqueline Dobson, president of Barrhead Travel, said: “Yesterday, the entire UK travel industry congregated – either virtually or at locations throughout the UK – to deliver the message that travel had to have the opportunity to restart.
“While it should never have taken a country-wide protest for the Government to hear our pleas, we are nonetheless pleased that some of the industry’s requests have been taken into consideration – particularly the announcements that enable us to really restart travel.”
Matthew Fell, CBI chief UK policy director, expressed a more cautious note. He said: “While welcome, these limited movements on green list countries won’t be enough to salvage the summer season for the international travel sector.
“International connectivity extends far beyond tourism and underpins our whole economy. The UK’s successful vaccine rollout means we should be in the vanguard of safely restarting international travel.
“Other countries are already pressing ahead with enabling travel for the fully vaccinated. The government must show more urgency to implement a truly risk-based system.”
Manuel Cortes, TSSA General Secretary, said: “Our travel trade needs certainty and it needs support. While it’s great news that more holiday destinations are now on the travel green list, our travel trade is still struggling.
“In the fight against coronavirus, it’s vital that we follow the scientific advice and open up safely. But to do that government must support those sectors of the economy which have been badly hit by restrictions – none more so than travel.”
Additions to the green list from 4am on 30 June are: Malta, Madeira and the Balearic islands; the Caribbean nations of Antigua, Barbados, Barbuda, Dominica and Grenada; and the UK overseas territories of Anguilla and Montserrat, Bermuda, British Antarctic Territory, British Indian Ocean Territory, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Pitcairn, and Turks and Caicos Islands.
Current green list countries are: Australia, New Zealand, Brunei Darussalam, Faroe Islands, Gibraltar, Iceland, Falkland Islands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha.
Added to the red list are: The Dominican Republic, Eritrea, Haiti, Mongolia, Tunisia and Uganda.
Travellers currently returning from red list countries are required to enter managed isolation. Amber list returnees must self-isolate at home with two PCR tests on days 2 and 8. Travellers returning from green list countries are not required to isolate, with a PCR test on day 2.