The Government has been accused of confusing holidaymakers after it emerged only 25 of the 74 destinations on their “travel corridor” list are fully accessible to English visitors without restrictions.
A study by the PC Agency and Audiencenet has established that just a third of the countries or territories do not have some form of quarantine, closed borders or restrictions that might impede English holidaymakers.
It follows the Department for Transport’s (DfT) announcement of 74 destinations where it was lifting the requirement for anyone arriving from them to quarantine for 14 days in England. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have yet to decide if and when they lift the restrictions.
High-profile Commonwealth destinations on the list like Australia and New Zealand have closed their borders and are thought unlikely to re-open them before Christmas because of the risk of importing Coronavirus from countries with higher rates like the UK.
Japan, also on the list, will also not accept anyone who has spent 14 days in the UK for the same reason. Vietnam, which has one of the lowest rates of Covid-19 in the world, was among the 74 but it has also shut its borders to nations like the UK.
Greece is not accepting direct flights until July 15 while Cyprus, another popular holiday destination, closed to anyone who has spent the previous 14 days in the UK.
Austria has been approved for travel without quarantine on holidaymakers’ return to the UK but it is advising that people only enter the country for essential reasons – so, not a holiday.
Travellers also have to have a Covid-19 test, which costs at least £150, within four days of their flight date from the UK and produce a medical certificate with a negative result on arrival. If visitors do not, they need to quarantine on arrival for 14 days.
More exotic locations on the Government’s list, like Bermuda, also have a tough testing regime before they will allow any holidaymakers from the UK.
St Lucia, where the Foreign Office lifted its ban on non-essential travel and lifted quarantine, is currently in a national state of emergency which means there are curfews in place, while Jamaica has introduced a questionnaire which visitors have to complete before being allowed entry.
Paul Charles, chief executive of PC Consultancy, which produced the list for the travel industry, said the way the Government had presented its lists was confusing, if not misleading for holidaymakers.
“It would be better for the Government to supply a list of destinations that English travellers can enter on arrival without having to quarantine or which don’t have any restrictions. This would be the 25 and it should be constantly updated by Government,” he said.
The 25 are: Andorra, Belgium, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Faroe Islands, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Greenland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta (from 15th July), Monaco, Netherlands, Poland, Réunion, San Marino, Serbia, South Georgia and Sandwich Islands, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey and Vatican City.
Emma Coulthurst, consumer advocate from holiday price comparison site, TravelSupermarket, said: “The Government’s latest information released late on Friday on where UK citizens can holiday this summer has the potential to confuse people and see them unwittingly book holidays which, due to restrictions imposed by the destination country, they might not be able to take.
“It is vitally important that holidaymakers check the individual country’s entry requirements before booking and also book cancel-for-free or flexible rebooking options in case they unintentionally book a holiday which entry restrictions then prevent them from taking.
“The UK Government should be making it clearer what the actual situation is for travel from the UK to countries on their lists and providing a lot more clarity on where holidaymakers can actually go to from the UK without restriction.”