Stay home or go abroad?

By | Category: Travel rumblings

The removal of Portugal from the green list will serve as a reminder to people just how fragile holiday plans are at the moment.

to chance it and go or stay at home this summer?

Getting your money back will be a tough ask because the FCDO hasn’t placed a ban on travelling to amber list countries. Planes will still go there and hotels are open. But you will have to self-isolate on your return and there are thousands of people checking that you do so.

If you decide not to go, then it’s your decision, not that of your airline or tour operator so they are under no compunction to give you your money back. Some will allow you to transfer to another date as a sign of good faith but you can bet your bottom dollar that some won’t.

Nor will your insurance necessarily cover you. They work to FCDO advice so no compensation.

That Portugal was removed from the green list is hard for people to understand since rates look similar to the UK. they are increasing there just as they are here.

And since the government hasn’t properly explained what prompted it to take this action means we can’t understand the logic. That all devolved governments agreed with the Westminster decision suggests that there was little disagreement with whatever facts with which they were presented.

That cuts no ice with the 100,000 plus that are in Portugal or the hundreds of thousands that had planned to go over the next month or two. Nor with the airlines, accommodation providers or the tour operators.

You might remember that the government said that it would set up a system that would suggest which destinations might go from one traffic light to another so that we wouldn’t have the same mess as last year.

It hasn’t done so and it needs to explain why it didn’t.

That it acted so quickly suggests incompetence or that it saw something happening in Portugal that sent warning signs. The Portuguese don’t seem to know what it is because they seem as surprised and as clueless as the rest of us about the action by the British government.

In the two and a half days since the announcement, travel stocks haven’t lost anywhere near as much as they have previously done. That suggests the city, those canny people who bet on where money can be made, thinks the travel market can either withstand this hiccup and/or bounce-back and provide holidays and travel later in the year.

They have been wrong before and could be again.

Previously I had been buoyant about there being overseas summer holidays. Now I am not; my traffic light has switched to dark amber verging on red! 

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