The UK government’s decision to remove Portugal from the green list has been roundly criticised by the destination and travel firms.
Hopes for an overseas summer break have been thrown “into chaos” due to the move announced by transport secretary Grant Shapps on Thursday afternoon (3 June), with many holidaymakers already in Portugal facing a “race” to get back to the UK before quarantine-free travel ends on Tuesday morning (8 June).
Portugal’s shock removal from the green list caused shares in major travel firms to plunge, with the industry warning of a “lost summer” due to the government’s traffic light restrictions.
Here are the key headlines concerning travel in the national press on Friday morning (4 June).
Summer holiday blow for millions
Plans for international summer breaks are “in tatters” after the government ruled no holiday destinations are safe for travel following the decision to remove Portugal from the green list. (Daily Express)
Britons in Portugal ‘fume’ after amber list move
Hopes of an overseas holiday this summer have been “plunged into turmoil” by the government’s failure to add any countries to the green list, while those currently in Portugal face a “race” to get home before Tuesday to avoid a 10-day quarantine. (Daily Mail)
Portugal questions UK government decision
Portuguese politicians have said they do not understand the “logic” of the UK government’s decision to move the country into the amber list from next week. The travel industry, meanwhile, condemned the decision and warned it could lead to more job losses, and further damage to consumer confidence. (BBC News)
Travel industry warns of ‘lost summer’
The bosses of leading travel firms have hit out at the decision to remove Portugal from the green list and not add any more destinations to the quarantine-free list. They say the move threatens to create a “lost summer” for the industry. (Sky News)
Holiday in the UK to save 21 June
Transport secretary Grant Shapps has blamed a “Nepal mutation” of Covid-19 for the decision to remove Portugal from the green list and stressed the importance of taking a “safety first” approach to save the planned domestic unlock on 21 June. (The i)
Airline stocks in a tailspin as holiday hopes dashed
Shares in major travel companies fell sharply following the green list announcement on Thursday, with tour operator Tui losing 4.5% of its value and easyJet shares tumbling by 5%. Ryanair, British Airways’ parent firm IAG, and Jet2 plc also saw big falls in their share prices. (The Times)
Advice to avoid offices could continue after 21 June
The government could maintain its “work from home” advice even if the planned removal of Covid restrictions goes ahead as planned in England on 21 June, amid fears of the continuing spread of the Indian variant, also now known as Delta. (Daily Telegraph)