Green light for travel!

By | Category: Travel news

At 5pm, Grant Shapps – the Secretary of State for Transport, led a press conference from Downing Street that was the regular briefing on the pandemic.

Iceland – the geysey area is one place on the “green” list. Image ©Icelandair

Except that all people really wanted to hear were which destinations were on the green list.

Here’s the list –

Australia

Ascension Island

Brunei

Falkland Islands

Faroe Islands

Gibraltar

Iceland

Israel

New Zealand

Portugal

St Helena

Singapore

South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands

Tristan da Cunha

Suffice it to say the travel industry wasn’t impressed especially as some destinations like Australia and New Zealand aren’t allowing visitors in from the UK.

With others, the question is whether people would want to go there at all? And if they did, how much accommodation would there be?

It had hoped for many more countries. There was no Greece, not even some of its islands. There was no Malta, no Canaries or Balearics or mainland Spain and even worse, Turkey was moved to the red list.

Portugal was pleased and bookings rose after the announcement. easyjet announced that extra flights would be added to its schedules.

But if this was the beginning of the great booking bonanza, the industry was mistaken and it was quick to criticise it.

For us travellers and potential overseas holidaymakers, the announcement didn’t offer much hope either.

Even if you want to travel to a green light country you have to take a PCR test before you leave to travel and take another before you leave to come back home and then have another two days after arriving back home?

Why?

Shapps explained the need for the tests even though you might have had a double vaccination as a necessary precaution because if you have been in contact with someone who has had coronavirus whilst you were away, the medics don’t know whether you can still transmit the virus to someone on your return. They also don’t know whether the new Indian strain is more transmissible so they are being very cautious.

Shapps also pointed out that these rules apply to England.

Why?

Because although the traffic lights system has been discussed and agreed the elections means that the new Scottish and Welsh governments have to agree to the twelve destinations on the green list. As does the Northern Irish government.

They probably will.

Every three weeks the list will be updated.

Other big holiday destinations like Cyprus, Malta, Greece, Italy and Spain must be hoping they will make the list then. And the travel industry will be hoping for that as well.

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