‘It’s been a struggle’ Thomas Cook chief welcomes changes to travel lists after confusion

Thomas Cook CEO says ‘simplification’ of rules is ‘good news’

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The Government has announced changes to the UK’s travel lists. Seven countries have moved from the amber list to the green lost, while four nations have been added to the amber list.

Alan French appeared on Sky News today to discuss the travel list changes in more detail.

He said that the pandemic had “the effect of dampening down consumer confidence” and so it was “good news” to see more countries being added to the green list.

There is still a chance for families to go on holiday this summer, Mr French added.

He said: “There is a small opportunity for people as the school holidays continue for a few more weeks.

“And then perhaps late summer. So, there are opportunities there.”

In another big travel change, France has been removed from the “amber-plus” list and put on the amber list.

This means fully vaccinated Britons can now travel to the country without having to self-isolate for 10 days on their return.

Mr French mentioned the reaction this change has had on airline bookings.

He said: “We’ve seen a small uplift in bookings.

“We do welcome the simplification – small simplification – of the rules.”

Mr French added that for customers who haven’t made alternative arrangements, “there are some opportunities out there”.

“There are some great deals.”

Mr French continued: “It’s great to hear the Transport Secretary saying we’ve got higher levels of confidence that the rules aren’t going to change.

“That’s going to make people a lot more confident about being able to book a holiday.”

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps told Radio Four’s Today programme this morning: “I hope people will be able to go away under this simplified system, enjoy their breaks and not be looking over their shoulders the whole time.”

Mr French is also glad of the simplified rules, saying they are “good news” for his company.

However, he stressed that the lists system has been “extremely difficult for people to navigate”.

“We’ve got lots of people talking to our staff and very experienced travel people talking to customers day-by-day, trying to guide them through the changes.”

Mr French added: “It has been a struggle.

“We’ve been trying to guide our customers through that.

“But we’re trying to look positively through the summer, and the simplification of the rules and the indication they’re not going to change – or the hope they’re not going to change from Grant Shapps this morning – is good news.”

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