Expected decision on green-list holiday changes could be delayed

The UK Government’s planned review of the travel traffic light system, originally planned for Thursday, may be delayed.

It has been widely-anticipated that Transport Secretary Grant Shapps would confirm any changes to the restrictions before the end of this week – giving a much needed boost to airlines and tour operators.

Updates would also help holidaymakers plan overseas breaks after more than a year of not being able to travel to most popular destinations.

However, travel expert Simon Calder told TalkRadio he had contacted the Department of Transport and officials had refused to confirm if the review would go-ahead on the original date.

There are concerns that further additions to the green list could cause the Border Force to become over-stretched by the extra arrivals in the UK.

Ryanair boss Micheal O’Leary called on Mr Shapps to open up more destinations for international travel and abolish restrictions for everyone who has been fully vaccinated.

Ryanair also wants the UK Government to axe current requirements to present a costly negative PCR test when returning from EU green countries, TravelWeekly reported.

Hordes of UK holidaymakers had already booked to Spain, Italy and the Greek islands for June, July and August, Mr O’Leary claimed.

Mr O’Leary added: “The highly successful UK vaccine rollout has already enabled hundreds and thousands of British families to book their flights to Portugal this summer.

“Today we call on minister Grant Shapps to include all EU countries in the next revision of the UK’s green list so UK holidaymakers can travel restriction-free to the beaches of Spain, Greece and Italy – all of whom have opened their doors to British visitors this summer.

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“The UK government must scrap the nonsensical requirement of PCR tests for those returning from low-risk (green) countries.

“There is no point in setting up a traffic light system if ‘green’ still requires additional measures that significantly add to the cost of a family trip.

“There is no justification for the UK government to delay the removal of all travel restrictions for those who have been fully vaccinated when research from Public Health England has demonstrated that two doses of the C-19 vaccines are highly effective against the Indian variant.

“We look forward to seeing all of Europe open to restriction-free travel for British families this summer, and to welcoming millions of British guests on board very soon.”