Jet2.com and Jet2holidays boss Steve Heapy has welcomed national press reports that government could exempt travellers fully vaccinated against Covid-19 from quarantining upon their return from amber list countries.
The Telegraph on Thursday (17 June) reported the plan was under consideration in Westminster, and that health secretary Matt Hancock was "open" to the proposal; it would – in effect – turn the entire amber list green for people who have had both their jabs.
Travel has been critical of government for failing to capitalise on the UK’s so-called vaccine dividend, stemming from the pace and breadth of the vaccine roll-out.
Jet2 chief Heapy said any such proposal would help facilitate a "meaningful" restart of international travel. "The vaccination programme was designed to protect people from coronavirus so they can enjoy their freedoms once again," said Heapy.
"If people have received two doses of the vaccine and are still not allowed to travel overseas to enjoy their holidays, what is the purpose of the vaccination programme? The roll-out has been a huge success, so it is time for us all to enjoy the benefits of that."
Heapy, though, said it was important the government continued to make informed decisions on international travel based on a range of factors, including infection rates, to determine which destinations make the green list.
"If data is driving these decisions, then we believe destinations such as Malta, the Balearic Islands and many islands in Greece should be open to holidaymakers from the UK," said Heapy.
"At present, the UK remains largely grounded and our customers are left to look on with envy while the rest of Europe opens up. We look forward to flying again soon and will continue to work with the UK government to achieve that.”
The next review of the government’s green list and traffic light regime is due on 28 June, with details expected in the days leading up to a formal announcement.