As Portugal gets removed from the green list, the travel industry warns that the UK is becoming increasingly isolated from the rest of the world.
Industry leaders have warned that removing Portugal from the travel green list will do “untold damage to consumer confidence” and risk giving the impression that the UK “remains isolated from the rest of the world.”
The new Government statement on foreign vacations was met with dismay by airlines and travel companies, with many predicting that the summer will be destroyed for the beleaguered industry.
“Ministers spent last month heralding the return of international travel, only to shut it down three weeks later, all but guaranteeing another lost summer for the travel sector,” said Heathrow boss John Holland-Kaye.
“Everyone wants to safeguard public health, but the Global Travel Taskforce was created to provide a framework that would allow low-risk travel to be done securely. Britain is the G7’s worst-performing economy, and the Prime Minister is sending a message that the UK will remain isolated from the rest of the world and closed to most of its G7 allies in the week that he meets G7 leaders to announce his Government’s vision of Global Britain.
“If the government is serious about protecting UK jobs and supporting businesses across the country, it must act quickly to reopen flights to key trading partners, remove vaccination testing for vaccinated passengers from ‘green’ countries, and reduce the cost and complexity of testing, as other G7 countries have done.”
TUI UK, a package holiday company, was as harsh, stating that the government had broken pledges to the business.
“This recent announcement is another step back for our industry,” said Andrew Flintham, managing director of TUI UK.
“After promising that the Global Travel Taskforce would produce a clear framework, ending the terrible flip-flopping we all experienced this summer, the Government’s decision to move Portugal from green to amber will cause irreparable harm to customer confidence.
“We were promised that a green watch list would be formed and that travelers would be given a week’s warning so they wouldn’t have to rush back home,” says the author. This promise has been broken.”
He went on to say that the UK government has refused to be clear about the green, amber, and red data standards. (This is a brief piece.)