Spain and Italy could be added to new 'amber watch list'

31 July 2021, 09:16

Tourist on the city beach in Las Palmas on Gran Canaria
Tourist on the city beach in Las Palmas on Gran Canaria. Picture: Alamy

By Asher McShane

Spain and Italy could be placed on an 'amber watch list' as early as next week, sparking concern for thousands of holidaymakers with trips booked.

Talk of the amber watch list, which would see some amber countries go straight on to the red list, has sparked uproar in Whitehall, according to reports.

It would mean travellers who are abroad when the change is made would face paying £1,750 per head for hotel quarantine upon their return.

France could be taken off the 'amber-plus' list, meaning the fully vaccinated will be able to return to the UK without the need to quarantine.

READ MORE: Clubs to ask for vaccine passports after Govt accused of introducing them 'by stealth'

But France could still go into the new 'amber watch' category.

Senior ministers, including Transport Secretary Grant Shapps and Chancellor Rishi Sunak, are said to have reservations about imposing further restrictions on the beleaguered travel sector, according to the Daily Mail.

A Whitehall source told the newspaper: “You would have to be crackers to book a holiday to a place knowing that it could go on to the red list at any moment.

“If you have already booked to go there you are going to spend your whole holiday worrying whether you are going to have to make a dash to the airport to get home.

“The decision next week will basically be in place for August. It is peak holiday season – are we really going to cause that much disruption to this many people?”

Sage committee papers released yesterday revealed scientists have warned that "any increase in foreign travel over the summer ... is of particular concern".