//Industry reacts to amber list changes

Industry reacts to amber list changes

ABTA welcomes news that double-jabbed Brits will no longer need to isolate

ABTA has “strongly welcomed” the government’s announcement that double-jabbed Brits will not need to quarantine when returning to England from an amber list country.

Brits who have received both vaccinations will be able to travel quarantine-free to more than 100 countries, including holiday hotspots Greece (pictured), Spain, Portugal and France, from July 19. The new travel rules also apply to children under 18 who have not been vaccinated.

The transport secretary said: “I can confirm today that from July 19, UK residents who are fully vaccinated through the UK vaccine rollout will no longer have to self-isolate when they return to England.”

He added: “In essence, this means that for fully-vaccinated travellers, the requirements for green and amber countries are the same.”

Travellers will still need to show a negative test when returning to the UK, as well as taking a PCR test on the second day of their return.

Mark Tanzer, chief executive of ABTA, said: “Today’s announcement will be strongly welcomed by travellers in England, and by travel companies across the industry. Having to quarantine when returning from an amber list country has been a very significant barrier to travel for many people, so it is good that this will be removed for those who have had both vaccinations and for children. It’s especially welcome that this will come in time for the school summer holidays.”

He added: “We know that there is significant pent-up demand to travel abroad – to see family and friends, make business connections and have a well-deserved holiday. The minister today has sent a clear message that people can travel abroad to amber list countries this summer – opening up travel to many popular holiday destinations, but there is a lot more that needs to happen for the industry to get back on its feet, and the need for government support remains pressing.

“Government also needs to work to reduce the cost and need for testing, as well as making sure it has the right resources at the border to deal with the increased number of passengers, and it is important that the Foreign Office advice against travel to some amber list countries takes into account the increasing vaccination rates in destinations, and the reducing risks.”

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) said that the news was a “step in the right direction”. Virginia Messina, WTTC senior vice president, said: “Holidaymakers and the Travel & Tourism sector will breathe a sigh of relief now that quarantine-free holidays have been given the green light by the government for those that have been fully jabbed.

“While it’s a step in the right direction, there is still a long way to go before holidays become truly affordable – and accessible. The requirement for PCR tests to return from amber list countries will remain, pricing out many hard-working families from being able to take holidays abroad.

“And though it’s great news for the double jabbed and under-18s who also are exempt from quarantine, it still leaves more than one in three UK adults who’ve only received a single dose, forced into quarantine when they arrive back in the UK from an amber list country.

“Countries must take a coordinated and harmonised approach and align policies to avoid confusion among holidaymakers who need easy to understand rules and regulations more than ever before.”

Jet2 announced that it would be restarting flights and holidays to amber list destinations from July 19. Steve Heapy, CEO of Jet2.com and Jet2holidays said: “We are ready for the wave of demand that this long-awaited and very welcome news will bring.”

He added: “This is an extremely positive step forward for the travel industry. It is fantastic news for our customers who want nothing more than to get away, and we cannot wait to take them on their well-deserved holidays. We look forward to the Scottish and Northern Ireland Governments following suit and await further good news from the devolved nations.”