Green list ‘not enough’ to save industry, says travel bosses

25 June 2021, 11:06

The Balearic Islands have been added on to the travel 'green list'
The Balearic Islands have been added on to the travel 'green list'. Picture: PA

By Eleanor Walsh

The government’s decision to move 16 destinations onto the UK’s green travel list has left the travel industry frustrated, with UK airline bosses saying the decision won’t be enough to save the sector from the damage caused by the pandemic.

Brits arriving from destinations including the Balearic islands, Madeira and parts of the Caribbean won’t need to quarantine from 04:00 on Wednesday.

A new ‘watch list’ category has been created meaning that the new additions to the green list could turn amber at short notice. All green destinations have been placed into this category with the exception of Malta.

The chief executive of easyJet, Garry Wilson said the timetable "simply isn't ambitious enough” and asked why destinations such as the Greek Islands and Canary Islands were not on the green list.

But flight prices to popular holiday destinations soared within minutes of the announcement, with a return flight to Ibiza on July 3 and July 10 increasing from £149 to £314 with journeys on the same dates to Majorca going up from £153 to £478.

People travelling to green list countries from England need to take a Covid test up to 72 hours before they return to England and one PCR test on or before day two of their arrival back. However they do not need to quarantine unless the test result is positive.

Grant Shapps, the Transport Secretary said that countries who had progressed well with their vaccine programmes would be “pleased to see British tourists” whilst countries which had “some way to go” could be more cautious.

This comes as German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged EU nations to make British travellers quarantine on arrival to prevent the spread of the Delta variant across the continent.

The countries which have just been added to the green list are: Malta, the Balearic Islands (Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza, and Formentera), and Caribbean islands (Anguila, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, British Indian Ocean Territory, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, and Turks and Caicos Islands).

Read more: UK travel list update: Which countries are now on the green list?

Mr Shapps said that a decision had not yet been reached on whether to allow Brits who have been double vaccinated to travel to amber list countries without quarantining on return, and that there would be an update in July. He said that the government is “waiting for scientific data to come in” and that there would be no changes to the policy before 19 July when the government hopes to be in a position to remove all legal limits on social contact.