No holidays allowed in Europe or the United States until August, insider says
Travel without quarantine to the UK from mainland Europe or the United States will not be permitted until the end of July, an industry expert has warned.
The reopening of travel had been “sacrificed by ministers watching their backs,” said Paul Charles, chief executive of travel consultancy The PC Agency.
Mr Charles was among the industry figures who expressed outrage when Portugal was moved to the Amber List last week because it meant that no viable major tourist destination was in the green box.
Portugal and other countries such as Malta, Morocco and Grenada should be on the green list, but decisions on restrictions were “highly political, and not based on data at all,” Charles said. .
People arriving in the UK from a green tier country are not required to self-isolate, while amber arrivals are required to quarantine at home for 10 days.
It was hoped that destinations such as Spain, France, Italy and the United States would be added to the green list before the peak summer vacation season.
But Mr Charles said he had “clearly understood” that ministers “do not intend to open travel to mainland Europe or the United States until the end of July”.
He continued, “Ministers have lined up to protect their future careers and potentially benefit from an upcoming cabinet reshuffle. And that means sacrificing the early opening of the overseas travel industry.
“Now thousands of jobs are at risk – as are some airlines and travel agencies – as June and July will be lost in terms of travel.”
Mr Charles said Transportation Secretary Grant Shapps and Education Secretary Gavin Williamson were “in favor of opening trips earlier” but were “canceled” by the Health Secretary Matt Hancock, Home Secretary Priti Patel and Cabinet Minister Michael Gove.
He added: ‘Based on opinion polls, they have now all united to focus on reopening the UK by mid-July, once vaccine rollout hits 18 and over , and the eradication of the Delta variant originating in India.
“Once the UK almost fully opens up, overseas travel will be back on the agenda for the end of July.”
The Department of Transportation reviews travel lists every three weeks, suggesting the next changes will be announced on June 24.
He previously said the assessments would be based on a range of factors, including the proportion of a population that had been vaccinated, infection rates, new emerging variants, and access to reliable scientific data and genomic sequencing. .