Confusing holiday destination list is putting sunseekers off travel
‘Utter confusion’ surrounds the government’s list of ‘approved’ holiday destinations, travel firms have claimed.
Holidaymakers have been warned their flights could be cancelled on short notice after the government released its new Covid-19 holiday traffic light system for travelling abroad.
It comes after some of the countries given the all-clear for travel from July 10 still have their borders closed to British tourists, the Mirror has reported.
Of the ‘approved’ list of destinations, 27 of the 59 are open to Brtish arrivals – without restrictions. And some countries are asking travellers to provide up-to-date test results to prove they do not have coronavirus.
There is also health screening at some airports.
The restrictions means flights could be change or cancelled because airlines are planning their schedules “hand to mouth.”
The Department for Transport’s (DfT) has published a list of “approved” destinations. But travel industry leaders claims the information conflicts with guidance from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).
British travellers are meant to be able to soon visit destinations on the list, published on Friday, without having to quarantine for 14 days upon their return.
But countries including Australia and Canada, for example, are on the DfT’s list but both remain closed to British arrivals.
Noel Josephides, the chairman of Sunvil, told the Sunday Times: “It is highly confusing for travellers. We have two different sets of advice it is very odd. It’s as though government departments don’t actually speak to each other. All we want is one list.”
Travel consultant Paul Charles, from the Quash Quarantine campaign, added: “There is utter confusion: the two lists do not tally and consumers are going to be extremely confused.
“Currently, people have to check both lists, the government website for entry requirements and also contact the country they want to visit to make sure the information is up to date.”
Airlines expert John Strickland, director of JLS Consulting, told the Mail on Sunday: “A number of airlines are planning their schedules on a very short term, hand to mouth basis.
“Several airlines have planned flights and put them on sale, only to find that Government policies and regulatory conditions in one country or another have meant that it is not possible to operate and have then had to cancel them and go back to square one.
“I don’t believe airlines are deliberately or maliciously cancelling flights.”
The traffic light system and how it works
It decides which countries are considered safe to travel to.
- Green: “approved” countries,
- Amber: Destinations considered less safe
- Red: People returning from those countries have to self-isolate for two weeks.
The DfT’ list of 73 countries and territories where English tourists can visit without self-isolating on return includes Spain, France, Italy, Turkey, Greece and Cyprus.
Long-haul destinations including Australia, Barbados, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand and Vietnam also feature.
The FCO’s list
This included most of the places named by the DfT but those missing are Fiji, Mauritius and the Seychelles.
The places listed by the FCO and not the DfT include Canada, Estonia, Malaysia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Singapore and the Portuguese regions of the Azores and Madeira.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said as the corridors were announced last week: “Today marks the next step in carefully reopening our great nation.
“Whether you are a holidaymaker ready to travel abroad or a business eager to open your doors again, this is good news for British people and great news for British businesses.
“The entire nation has worked tirelessly to get to this stage, therefore safety must remain our watch word and we will not hesitate to move quickly to protect ourselves if infection rates rise in countries we are reconnecting with.”