Grant Shapps provides update on the UK travel list
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In a new blow for travel, the Government have made the decision to axe two nations from the amber list and move a further four to the red list. The move has sparked outrage from hopeful holidaymakers and experts, with the decision slammed as a Brexit-related “stitch-up”.
Paul Charles, CEO of the PC Agency has said the latest traffic light announcement has been “unfathomable as usual”.
The travel expert hit out at the Government for failing to add an array of popular holiday destinations “deserving” of a place on the green list.
Following the announcement, Mr Charles tweeted: “As unfathomable as usual. So many other countries also deserving of being added to green or green watchlist.”
Holidaymakers also took to Twitter to voice their anger at the omission of Turkey, Greece and Portugal from the green list.
Some Britons have pointed to the “fallout” from Brexit as the reason why foreign travel from the UK remains stunted, while European Union countries have largely opened up.
A Twitter user named Liz commented: “Ridiculous…This is a fallout from Brexit in my opinion. Total stitch-up.”
A second user, named Rob, added: “I bet Gibraltar and other British overseas territories stay green…it’s all to put your holiday money back into their pot.”
From July 19, holiday hotspots across the Balearic Islands will move to the amber list.
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This means unvaccinated Britons will be required to quarantine at home for 14 days upon their return to the UK.
They will also face more testing requirements than when the archipelago was on the green list.
Similarly, the British Virgin Islands will also be moved to the amber list.
Travellers returning from red list countries will be forced to self-isolate in a Government approved hotel at a cost of £1,750.
Cuba, Indonesia, Myanmar and Sierra Leone are the latest additions to the red list.
Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps defended the decision as a necessary action in order to protect the UK’s vaccine roll-out.
Following the announcement, he said: “Four countries and territories will join the red list to safeguard our domestic vaccine rollout.
“We’ll keep these measures under review and be guided by the latest data – we won’t hesitate to take action if needed to protect public health.”
However, for some, the Government’s reasoning has done little to appease some Britons.
“Time to admit they don’t go by science,” commented a Twitter user.
“[They] have not for UK so were never going to do it for travel. Industry been ruined.”
Consumer rights advocate Which? has warned the ongoing traffic light changes are likely to result in financial losses for those who are eager to travel.
“These changes further highlight that anybody considering booking a holiday this summer should only do so if they are prepared to rebook, often at extra cost, and potentially face more expensive testing or quarantine if the rules suddenly change,” said Rory Boland, Which? Travel editor.
“It can be near impossible to get your money back in these circumstances, and while flexible booking policies that offer to rebook your holiday for free can be of use, the devil is in the detail.
“You will always have to pay any difference for new dates, and price increases can be significant.”
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