Beach in Lagos, Portugal.
CARLOS COSTA AFP | Getty Images
LONDON – British tourists can now fly abroad by easing Covid’s restrictions, but only to a limited number of destinations – something the tourism industry wants to change.
People in England and Scotland can fly to a list of 1
The policy changes were welcomed by the tourism industry, which wants to open up to business after a challenging time during the pandemic. Nevertheless, the sector hopes the government will lift mandatory quarantines for more destinations.
“This is a cautious return to international travel. We would like to see more countries added to the green list,” Stuart Wingate, CEO of Gatwick Airport, told CNBC’s Steve Sedgwick.
The Green List represents the group of nations that tourists can visit without mandatory quarantine on their return. For now, the list includes countries such as Portugal, Israel, Singapore, Iceland and Gibraltar and will be reviewed every three weeks.
Tourists arriving from one of these destinations will be required to provide a passenger location form, take a Covid test before boarding their return flight, and book and pay for another Covid test for the second day after arrival.
Visits to countries from the so-called. Amber lists require self-isolation for a period of 10 days, and trips to countries on the red list require a 10-day quarantine at a hotel.
Sunny European destinations, often chosen as holiday destinations by British tourists, such as France, Spain, Italy and Greece, are currently on the amber list.
“From an industry point of view, what we would like to see is our government constantly reviewing the situation of the countries, especially places like the Spanish islands, the Greek islands, and then, in the coming weeks, some of the big destinations we serve. Gatwick, such as Spain, Italy and Greece and the United States, are gradually entering the green list when it is safe to do so, “Wingate said on Monday.
Ryanair, the executive director of the budget airline, reiterated this feeling.
“We look forward to adding Spain, Italy and Greece to the UK’s green list in the next few weeks, and I think this will speed up the recovery of short-distance bookings from the UK to Europe for sure by July, August and September,” Michael said. O’Leary, Ryanair’s chief executive, told CNBC on Monday.
Leaders of British Airways and Heathrow Airport have also called on the UK government to allow tourists to visit more European destinations and the United States without having to be quarantined on their return, Reuters reported.
“It’s very important for many of these airlines to expand the green list,” Ruchel Amin, a capital research analyst at William O’Neill & Co., told CNBC Street Signs on Monday, adding that he expects more countries to be added in the coming years. weeks.
Stocks in the European travel and entertainment sector fell more than 1% during the early trading hours on Monday.
Despite the continued easing of travel restrictions in the UK, there is still much uncertainty facing the industry as quarantine rules are being revised and the future of the pandemic remains unclear. Although coronavirus vaccinations have gained momentum in the UK and the European Union, there are concerns about the new options – especially the one first identified in India – and their potential impact.
On Sunday, UK Health Minister Matt Hancock told the BBC that “there is growing confidence” that Covid vaccines work against the option identified in India. He added, however, that the government could not yet confirm whether all social restrictions would be lifted on June 21st, as originally planned.