Quarantine-free travel to the UK from mainland Europe or the US will not be permitted before late July, an industry expert has warned.
The reopening of travel had been “sacrificed by ministers watching their backs”, Paul Charles, chief executive of travel consultancy The PC Agency, said.
Mr Charles was among leading figures in the sector who expressed outrage when Portugal was moved to the amber list last week, as it meant no viable major tourist destination was in the green tier. Portugal and other countries such as Malta, Morocco and Grenada should be on the green list but decisions on restrictions were “highly political, not based on data at all”, Mr Charles claimed.
But Mr Charles said it was his “clear understanding” that ministers “do not intend to open up travel to mainland Europe or the USA before the end of July“.
He continued: “Ministers have fallen into line to protect their future careers and potentially benefit from an upcoming Cabinet reshuffle. And that means sacrificing the early opening of the overseas travel sector.Now thousands of jobs are at risk – as are some airlines and travel firms – because June and July will be lost in travel terms.”