Confusion is growing over whether people should be going on holiday to countries on the amber list, as well as criticism of the government’s mixed messaging on the issue.
The government is being attacked for a lack of clarity over the traffic light system for international travel, following contradictory messages from ministers, which resulted in prime minister Boris Johnson stepping in on Tuesday (18 May).
One minister has even said overseas holidays were “dangerous” and should not be taken this year, provoking criticism from his own MPs.
Wish you were clear, ministers
Confusion reigns over whether people should go on holidays to countries on the amber list. Two government ministers said it was OK to travel to these destinations for leisure, only to be overruled by prime minister Boris Johnson, who insisted UK residents should not go to amber countries for holidays. (The Daily Mail)
Brits told to abandon foreign holidays this summer
Health minister Lord Bethell has added to the contradictory messages from government by claiming overseas holidays are “dangerous” and “not for this year”. But these comments were attacked as “idiotic” by one Conservative MP who asked: “If that’s the case, why is there a green list?” (The Telegraph)
Millions set to travel to ‘amber’ countries
Research suggests that as many as five million UK holidaymakers have booked holidays to amber list countries, such as France, Greece and Spain, this summer leading to fears that consumers will ignore PM Boris Johnson’s plea not to travel to these countries while they are classified as amber. (The Independent)
EU ambassadors to discuss reopening of travel
Ambassadors from the EU’s 27 countries will meet on Wednesday (19 May) to discuss the reopening of international travel across the continent. Key issues will include the EU’s new Digital Green Certificate and whether to lift the current recommendation to bar entry to non-EU citizens. (Sky News)
Holidaymakers booking two breaks at the same time
Some consumers are hedging their bets this summer by booking different holidays for the same dates – one break in the UK and another in an overseas destination – as they wait to find out if they can travel to their chosen destination. But the UK hospitality sector fears there could be a rash of cancellations if international travel opens up more fully this summer. (BBC News)
PM faces backlash over local lockdowns
Suggestions by ministers of possible new local lockdowns in areas facing a surge in Covid cases, due to the spread of the Indian variant, have been attacked by Conservative MPs. While there is also criticism for the UK’s “leaky” borders for people travelling from red list countries. (The Independent)
Ministers and HMRC urged to help struggling companies
Business groups are appealing to the tax authority to work with firms which have built up significant debts during the pandemic. They warn there could be a surge in company failures with the end of temporary emergency measures including the suspension of winding-up petitions. (Financial Times)