Travel hopes fade as few countries expected to be added to green list

Hopes fade for good news on green list as few countries are expected to be added this week, crushing plans for a last-minute sunshine break

  • Croatia, Madeira and Antigua among destinations which could slip into amber
  • Those heading for the red list may include Jamaica, Saint Lucia and Dominica 
  • There are currently 36 destinations on green list, 16 of which are on a ‘watchlist’ 

The hopes of holidaymakers holding out for a late-summer foreign break look set to be dashed this week with few countries expected to be added to the green list.

Analysts said only a handful of countries look likely to go green, while popular destinations such as Croatia, Madeira and Antigua could slip off the list and turn amber.

Caribbean islands Jamaica, Saint Lucia and Dominica could be heading for the red list. The analysis also suggests Turkey, which Britons visited more than 2million times a year pre-pandemic, will stay red.

There had been hopes it would be moved to amber, opening up quarantine-free holidays for the double-jabbed.

Government sources last night stressed no decisions have yet been made ahead of the review this week. But they indicated additions to the green list will be limited.

There are 36 destinations on the green list, 16 of which are on a ‘watchlist’ meaning they could turn amber at short notice.

Travel chiefs say the failure to expand the green list significantly throughout summer has dented confidence in booking trips.

Tel Aviv in Israel, which is among the countries at risk of turning from green to amber 

According to analysis by Paul Charles of travel consultancy The PC Agency, Croatia, Madeira and Israel are at risk of turning from green to amber, along with the Caribbean islands of Anguilla and Antigua and the Turks and Caicos Islands. 

Meanwhile Jamaica, St Lucia, Dominica and Morocco could go on the red list, meaning anyone returning would have to quarantine in hotels for 11 nights at a cost of more than £2,000.

Just a handful of countries look set to go green from amber, including Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic. 

Martin Chalk, of the pilots’ union Balpa, said the Government had ‘destroyed confidence’ in international travel by not placing more countries on the green list, in turn hitting the beleaguered industry’s ability to recover.

Labour MP Ben Bradshaw, who sits on the Commons transport committee, said: ‘With Covid rates in Britain still near the highest in Europe and vaccination rates in most popular holiday destinations having caught up or overtaken the UK’s, we should be seeing a big expansion of the green list.

‘But this Government has shown time and again that it couldn’t care one iota about jobs in the travel industry, families desperate to see each other again or people just hoping for a break.’

Covid travel test ‘cowboys’ face being purged by Javid 

Health Secretary Sajid Javid (pictured) said 57 private firms on the Government website will be removed immediately as they ‘no longer exist’ or do not provide the relevant post- holiday Covid tests

Dozens of traveller testing firms are to be purged from the official list or face being booted off within days, Sajid Javid warned last night.

The Health Secretary said 57 private firms on the Government website will be removed immediately as they ‘no longer exist’ or do not provide the relevant post- holiday Covid tests.

A further 82 have been given a ‘two-strike warning’ for advertising ‘misleading’ prices designed to lift them to the top of the list to lure travellers in.

Until last night there were more than 400 private test firms on the official website, advertising single and two-test post-holiday packages for between £20 and £400.

But the Department of Health found some had lower prices on

than are actually available to most travellers when users click through to their websites.

If they fail to come clean about the true cost, the culprits will be booted off the list.

The Daily Mail has repeatedly highlighted the underhand tactics of some firms in the £1billion industry. These include advertising tests at £20 which end up being only available to NHS workers or miles away. Mr Javid said the action ‘clamps down on this cowboy behaviour’.

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