UK travel industry 'furious' at green list update says Calder
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France and Italy are being hailed by experts as the next nations which could make the green list cut at the July review. The Government are expected to make a further announcement on travel in the coming weeks, with the Prime Minister suggesting double-jabbed Britons could be free from quarantine when travelling overseas.
With the next green list review anticipated on or around July 15, experts have suggested a wider range of European countries could be added to the green list based on the Government’s criteria.
“A lot of people would say if you look at the Government’s criteria and you look at the numbers half of Europe at least should be on the green list,” said travel expert Simon Calder on his Travel Radio show alongside Paul Charles.
According to the Government, the Travel Taskforce is basing the green list decisions based on the percentage of a country’s population that have been vaccinated, the rate of infection, the prevalence of variants of concern and the country’s access to reliable scientific data and genomic sequencing.
Paul Charles, CEO of the PC Agency, pointed out if the Government is following this data, countries such as France could be able to move before the three-week green list review.
“Take France for example who are seeing a much lower rate and continuing falls in infections, you could that they should be moved to the green watch list very soon and not have to wait for that three-week deadline,” he said.
This is a prediction which has also been shared by Robert Doyle, former strategy chief for British Airways.
He believes both France and Italy could be categorised as green in the coming weeks.
By analysing the data said to be used by the Government’s scientists, Mr Doyle predicts a further 22 countries have proven to have similar or better figures than destinations currently on the green and green watch lists.
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They include Austria, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Czech Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Hungary, Italy, Lebanon, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, North Macedonia, Moldova, Norway, Poland, Republic, Romania, Slovakia, Taiwan and Vietnam.
Currently, all of these nations are on the amber list which means returning Britons will be subject to 10 days of self-isolation and two COVID-19 PCR tests at their own expense.
“There seems to be nothing in the data the Government says it is using that explains why they are languishing on the amber list at this point,” Mr Doyle told The Telegraph.
“I’m sure the answer is politics somehow, but there doesn’t even seem to be any obvious political logic for why two apparently similar countries get classified differently.”
The prediction comes following a hint from Prime Minister Boris Johnson that travel could be set to further open up from July 26.
Speaking from the Nissan plant in Sunderland, the PM told Sky News: “I am very confident that the double jabs will be a liberator and they will enable people to travel.
“We will be setting out a lot more of that detail in the course of July and in the next few days about how we see it working.
“But there is no doubt at all once you’ve got two jabs you are in a much better position.”
However, Britons will be subject to international travel restrictions.
Concerns regarding the spread of the Delta variant in the UK pushed EU leaders to suggest a bloc-wide quarantine rule for Britons.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said: “In our country, if you come from Great Britain, you have to go into quarantine – and that’s not the case in every European country, and that is what I would like to see.”
Currently, a number of European Union (EU) countries, including holiday-favourite Spain, are ramping up restrictions for UK arrivals.
Mr Johnson warned Britons: “I want to repeat a point that I’ve made before, and I hope people will forgive me if I say that I do want travel to be possible but I’ve got to stress that this year will not be like every other year because of the difficulties with covid.
“People shouldn’t expect it will be completely hassle-free.”
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