Major airlines dealt a big blow over new travel plans

Travel from the UK to mainland Europe that does not need quarantine will not be allowed before late July, a travel expert has warned.

The reopening of travel, particularly in terms of tourism, had been “sacrificed by ministers watching their backs”, Paul Charles, chief executive of travel consultancy The PC Agency, said.

Mr Charles was among figures who expressed anger when Portugal was moved to the amber list last week, as it meant no major tourist destination was left in the green tier, Lancs Live reported.

Portugal and other countries such as Malta, Morocco and Grenada should be on the green list but decisions being made on restrictions were “highly political, not based on data at all”, Charles claimed.

Those arriving in the UK from a green country are not required to self-isolate, whereas amber arrivals must quarantine at home for 10 days.

There were hopes that destinations such as Spain, France, Italy and the US would be added to the green list ahead of the peak summer holiday season.

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.”

Mr Charles said key figures in government were “in favour of opening up travel sooner”, but were “over-ruled” by Health Secretary Matt Hancock, Home Secretary Priti Patel and Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove.

He added: “Buoyed by opinion polling, they have now all united to focus on reopening the UK by mid-July, once the vaccine rollout has reached 18-year-olds and above, and eradicating the Delta variant which originated in India.

“Once the UK…

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