<p>Safe bet: Sandy Bay in Gibraltar, one of very few destinations on the UK government green list</p>

Safe bet: Sandy Bay in Gibraltar, one of very few destinations on the UK government green list

No expansion of travel green list ‘defies logic’

‘I think the truth is they follow the opinion polls’ – Robert Boyle, Gridpoint Consulting

Simon Calder
Travel Correspondent
Thursday 03 June 2021 15:37
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The travel industry is bracing for more company collapses and tens of thousands of additional job losses after government leaks indicated no more countries or islands would be added to the “green list”.

At present only Portugal and Gibraltar are viable summer-sun destination with no quarantine required on return to the UK. There are suggestions that Portugal may be removed from the green list.

Holiday firms, airlines and prospective travellers had been expecting an opening-up of Mediterranean destinations in the first review of the government’s “traffic light” system for regulating international travel.

Follow live: Portugal downgraded to amber list

Instead, the process is going into reverse – with tougher rules expected for some locations.

There is fury that the official criteria for inclusion in the green list appear to have been ignored.

The transport secretary, Grant Shapps, has long said that the a destination can make the green list if coronavirus infection rates, “variants of concern” and connecting international passengers are low, while vaccine roll-out, reliability of data and genomic sequencing capability are high.

Malta was fully expecting to be on the green list, with other candidates from Finland to a sprinkling of Greek islands making the cut.

Robert Boyle, analyst for Gridpoint Consulting, said: “In theory, we know what is being measured and the data sources being used, as the government has published that.

“What we don't know is what the thresholds are and how they get from the data to the decisions.

“I think the truth is they follow the opinion polls.”

Paul Charles, chief executive of the travel consultancy The PC Agency said: “This decision will further threaten tens of thousands of jobs in aviation and travel, not to mention further damage consumer confidence.

"The data shows several countries should be green so the government’s decision defies logic. Summer is being squeezed by a policy of fear.”

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