'More countries to be red listed' predicts travel consultant ahead of Covid update

3 June 2021, 12:04

By Fiona Jones

Travel consultant Paul Charles gives his prediction on the UK Government's Covid travel update ahead of the announcement which is expected early this afternoon.

Ministers are due to update the traffic light destination system later today, which could see countries moving between the green, amber and red lists.

There is growing concern that Portugal could be removed from the green list due to rising cases, meaning thousands will have their holidays to the country thrown into doubt.

"We seem to have gone backwards which is rather worrying as we were promised that the vaccine would be the elixir to getting back to some form of normality," travel expert Mr Charles said, "it's ironic that it looks as though this summer is already being squeezed by some Governments who are putting in place tougher measures, including the UK Government.

"They're taking a very cautious approach and I expect them to do the same this afternoon. The green list is going to be very thin: we may see Malta on it, we may see Grenada and the Caribbean, Antigua, Turks and Caicos, possibly Finland."

"There aren't going to be many more - if anything they might be expanding the red list as well because of further cases and infections in Asia. It's not looking pretty."

He continued that due to the vaccine rollout across Europe, and that the data is showing fewer hospitalisations and less serious bouts of the illness, "by the end of June we'll be in a very different place."

Mr Charles confirmed Matt Frei's summary that the "usual suspects" such as Spain, Italy, mainland Greece and Malta will be on the green list by the time people want to go abroad.

"France could be into July, but I'm confident by the end of June there will be the most popular destinations [available]," he said.

He warned that the airline and tourism industries "need a strong summer" to stay afloat for next year, calling for the PM to show leadership on this issue."