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Bookings rise as traffic lights criticised

The addition of Austria, Germany, Slovenia, Slovakia, Latvia, Romania and Norway to the England’s green list has meant an increase in bookings for international travel.

India, Bahrain, Qatar and the UAE will also be moved from the red to the amber list, with Eurostar and Easyjet both reporting more traffic, while the WTTC attacked the traffic light system.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “We are committed to opening up international travel safely, taking advantage of the gains we’ve made through our successful vaccination programme, helping connect families, friends and businesses around the world.

“While we must continue to be cautious, today’s changes reopen a range of different holiday destinations across the globe, which is good news for both the sector and travelling public.”

The government also announced an increase in the costs for those arriving from a red list country and staying in quarantine hotels. A solo traveller will have to pay £2,285 from August 12 – up from £1,750 – with the charge for an additional adult sharing a room more than doubling from £650 to £1,430 to “better reflect the increased costs involved”, the government said.

The traffic light system was criticised by the WTTC, with Virginia Messina, WTTC senior vice president and acting CEO, said: “It’s time the government removed the ambiguity by abandoning the confusing and damaging traffic light system and replacing it with a simple system of green and red categories and clear rules for the vaccinated and unvaccinated, so travellers know exactly where they stand.

“While the rhetoric has changed to a more positive note, what we need is action. We need to provide clarity across the UK Travel & Tourism sector, which has been crying out for the present highly unpredictable system to be dropped, having brought international travel from the UK to its knees.

“The UK should now open its doors not just to fully vaccinated travellers from the US and the EU, but to double-jabbed visitors from all over the world too – showing we’re open for business and ready to welcome all safe travellers.”


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