Fury of airline bosses as Government uses new regional travel corridors to slap restrictions on SEVEN Greek islands
- Grant Shapps mentioned transfer to deal with islands as separate would carry reduction to travel
- But no islands have been made exempt from quarantine beneath the new guidelines
- The change has ruined the vacations of an estimated 70,000 Britons
Airline bosses informed of their fury final evening after ministers unveiled plans for regional travel corridors – solely to use the new guidelines to slap restrictions on seven Greek islands.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps mentioned the long-awaited transfer to deal with islands as separate to their mainland would carry much-needed reduction to Britain’s travel sector.
But no islands have been made exempt from quarantine beneath the new guidelines. Instead, the change has ruined the vacations of an estimated 70,000 Britons on Lesvos, Tinos, Serifos, Mykonos, Crete, Santorini and Zakynthos with restrictions from 4am tomorrow.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps mentioned the long-awaited transfer to deal with islands as separate to their mainland would carry much-needed reduction to Britain’s travel sector
Limited flight schedules imply many won’t be able to return in time. Insiders say it’s possible extra islands might be added to the quarantine record after Thursday’s weekly overview – however none eliminated. A spokesman for British Airways proprietor IAG mentioned: ‘It was evident in July that islands should be treated separately. The Government is being too slow in making obvious decisions. For most families summer is now over and the damage to the industry and the economy is done.’
Campaigners have been calling for regional travel corridors for a while, saying it would permit quarantine-free holidays to go forward to islands or protected areas of Covid-hit nations. Speaking within the Commons yesterday, Mr Shapps mentioned an infection charges on the islands are ‘too high’ to be exempt. Karen Dee, of the Airport Operators Association, mentioned: ‘Treating islands separately to a mainland, for the purposes of quarantine, is a welcome step in the right direction for Government policy. But the quarantine requirement is devastating the UK aviation industry and this change is unlikely to improve consumer confidence significantly. It is essential that we find a safe alternative.
Campaigners have been calling for regional travel corridors for some time, saying it will allow quarantine-free holidays to go ahead to islands or safe regions of Covid-hit countries
‘Industry has been calling for government action on a testing regime for the aviation system for months, while the sector has suffered through its worst summer in a generation.’ Rory Boland, of Which? Travel, mentioned: ‘This approach continues to cost travellers dearly, either through paying extortionate airfares in the scramble to get home, or because speculation that their destination may be added to the quarantine list causes them to needlessly cancel a holiday.
‘It’s clear that the present travel hall system shouldn’t be working for passengers, and is additional damaging confidence within the sector. A significant reassessment of the Government’s strategy is required.’
The regional coverage will solely apply to land that has a ‘clear boundary’ – resembling an island – and ‘internationally comparable data’ on coronavirus instances, the Department for Transport mentioned.
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