Holidays under threat: Ministers face anger over ‘green list’ disaster – ‘Ignoring advice’

Holidays: Politics Live panel discuss risks of foreign travel

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Environment Secretary George Eustice said Brits should “holiday at home” due to the threat of Covid variants. He added: “We’ve got some great places here, there aren’t many places that are on that [green] list.

“But obviously some people will want to travel abroad. There are still a small number of countries on that green list.

“If they want to do that they can, but obviously they will have to understand there are risks in doing so as well.”

Mr Eustice said the Government had intended to add countries the green list but that was “not the situation” anymore due to the spread of the Delta variant.

On Monday, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said reopening international travel would be “challenging”.

In a sign of more confusion over international travel, the Foreign Office was reportedly advising people that Portugal was safe to travel despite it being removed from the green list.

Earlier this week, President of Algarve Tourism in Portugal said that out of more than 100,000 COVID-19 tests carried out on British travellers at Faro airport, only six were positive.

Malta has accused Britain of “ignoring scientific advice” and taking a “political decision not to allow travel anywhere” over its position on the amber list.

The country has the highest vaccination rate in the European Union and is a popular summer destination.

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The World Travel and Tourism Council, headquartered in London, said it was “time the Government abandoned the hugely damaging traffic lights system”.

Tim Alderslade, chief executive of Airlines UK, said: “What happened to the risk-based, data-led approach, which seems to have survived all of three weeks?

“These comments betray a desire to stop Brits travelling anywhere abroad.”

Under the Government’s traffic light system, travellers can visit green listed countries without having to quarantine on their return.

For amber list countries, up to 10 days of isolation and two PCR tests are required from the UK to travel.

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