The Latin American Travel Association has hit out at the UK government’s latest traffic light update with almost the entire region remaining on the red list.
The announcement of the latest changes on Thursday (26 August) saw no movement for any Latin American destination.
Key countries such as Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Ecuador, Peru, Dominican Republic, Cuba and Costa Rica still be classified as red, meaning people returning to the UK will have to spend 10 days in a government-organised quarantine hotel.
Danny Callaghan, Lata’s chief executive, said: “As usual, no positive news for Latin America in the changes to the traffic light gradings.
“Again, we have no clarity no how decisions are made - the government repeatedly talks about ’following the data’, but that is not bourne out by their actions.”
Callaghan emphasised that no country in mainland Latin America was currently recording Covid-19 infections at “anywhere close to the UK’s” rate.
“Remember when Brazil was the supposed epicentre of the world’s Covid problems? Well, their cases are running at only 30% of ours, whereas the US is on a par with the UK,” he added.
“Maybe it’s to do with vaccination rates? But Chile is ahead of the UK on that, but still on the red list.
“Perhaps it’s to do with genomic sequencing? But latest figures show that the UK is sequencing a negligible amount of positive cases, so that’s clearly not important.”
Callaghan also criticised how transport secretary Grant Shapps has been making announcements, largely through his Twitter account (as he did on Thursday).
“Shapps is not what you would call camera shy, yet for some reason announcements about travel, which impact thousands of lives and livelihoods, are made late in the day by Twitter,” complained Callaghan.
“I imagine the announcements being tweeted from behind the sofa, avoiding the eye of the travel industry, like a child hiding from the gaze of the Daleks.”