Telegraph readers on the new travel watchlist: 'We've become accustomed to confusion'

·6-min read
Tourists sunbathe at Palma Beach in Palma de Mallorca - Jaime Reina/AFP
Tourists sunbathe at Palma Beach in Palma de Mallorca - Jaime Reina/AFP

The Government updated the travel traffic light system on Thursday, announcing that 14 destinations – including the holiday islands of Mallorca, Ibiza, Malta and Madeira – would be opened up, allowing holidaymakers to travel to them from 4am on Wednesday without having to quarantine when they returned.

However, 13 of those 14 countries were added to a newly created green "watchlist", meaning they are "most at risk" of suddenly turning amber. Travel-ready Britons who have had both vaccine doses were also left wanting, with ministers confirming that they would still face multiple Covid tests under the Government's plans to lift quarantine for travel to amber list countries.

Telegraph readers were left baffled by the introduction of the "watchlist", arguing that summer travel remained confusing and complex, particularly for those who had had both of their vaccine doses.

Read on for the best discussion points from our readers and share your own view in the comments section at the bottom of this article.

'The travel industry needs certainty in order to survive'

@Elizabeth Kirkby:

"It is not just holidays which are in limbo! What about all those with close family members overseas who have not seen or met up with each other for so long? Will we ever be reunited if this pathetic, incompetent, blundering, ignorant government continues in this way?

"The travel industry, as with the rest of the economy, needs certainty in order to just survive. Boris and his pals are clearly incapable of providing anything even close to that with their shenanigans and illogical, behaviour."

'Virtually all of the green list destinations are too expensive for families'

@ADAM DUDA:

"What a shambles! It is strange that virtually all of the green list destinations are premium destination islands and are generally too expensive for family vacations for Mr and Mrs Average! Then again, maybe it isn't strange!"

‘The way the Government has handled this is laughable’

@Henry Threepwood:

"If it wasn’t so serious, for so many people, the way the government has handled this would be laughable. There has been complete confusion, a semi-endorsement of travel, perhaps, almost, with a promise of future reversal. Shapps and others seem determined to destroy an entire industry. Utter incompetence."

‘Don’t tell me this isn’t designed to deter travelling’

@graham james:

"We're still operating under the absurdly difficult and ludicrously expensive conditions of obtaining PCR tests.

"I've recently been travelling through Europe and obtained a PCR test with no appointment, with multiple surgeries or laboratories readily available with same day results, even in small towns and on one of the smallest Greek Islands. It typically cost 60 or 70 Euros. Unlike in the UK where tests are only available in major cities at difficult times, costing £100 or double that for same-day results. In my case, an additional cost of £100 on top of that as I'd need an overnight stay close to the airport testing facility.

"Don't tell me this isn't designed to deter travelling."

'Why should the over-50s not be able to holiday outside the UK?'

@Moped Rider:

"All the over-50s have been offered the opportunity to be double jabbed by now. Why should I, and all other over-50s, not be able to holiday outside the UK, quarantine-free, during the lower cost off-peak period outside the normal peak holiday season.

"After all, those with school age children are generally all under-50 and can only have holidays during the school holidays.

"Life is short and even shorter the older you are."

'Are they having a laugh?'

@Judith Gordon-Nichols:

"Antarctic Territories? Pitcairn Islands? Are they having a laugh? Because we certainly are not sharing the joke! But if we are football VIPs there is problem at all travelling to England."

'We will never get back to normality'

@D Thompson:

"If countries do not allow fully vaccinated people to visit then we never will get back to normality."

'This is perfect for the confusion we have become accustomed to'

@S Heslop:

"Traffic lights used to be simple: three colours, green, amber and red. But now we have a fourth colour, some sort of shady greeny-orange mess. Perfect for the confusion we have become accustomed to.

"Just what is the point of this constant two steps forward three steps back routine every time there is an announcement? Surely one day we will be permitted to live our lives again with a hint of clarity?"

'Foreign holidays are only possible if you’re rich or retired'

@Artichoke Boulevard:

"Ultimately, the position has not changed. If you’re able to quarantine on return, you can go anywhere on the green and amber list. If you’re not able to quarantine on return, it’s very risky, because even if your destination is on the green list, the UK government can bring your holiday to a halt, before you even arrive, or even while you’re there. That’s what happened with Portugal, at 4 days notice.

"Because the FCO aren’t advising against travel to these destinations, you have next to no chance of recompense from your travel company or your insurance. For the vast majority, foreign holidays are only possible if you’re rich, or retired."

'It is a pointless, divisive and ruinous charade'

@Constant Bill:

"There are 10 million people who are British expats or who were born overseas but live in Britain who depend on international air travel for family and business reasons. They now have to comply with arbitrary, changeable, costly, time-consuming bureaucratic regulations, as well as testing and quarantine, just to get in or out of Britain. Also, flight schedules have been decimated and ticket prices are rising steeply.

"Add to that the hypocrisy of the insulting exemptions if you're a member of the 'elite' and everyone affected can see it is a pointless, divisive and ruinous charade instigated by the government."

'Expats still can’t reunite with their families'

@Stefania Milani:

"Good luck booking one of the green watchlist countries, knowing they could turn amber any moment. And still expats can't reunite with their families.

"I don't give a monkey's about going to Wembley. I would like to see my family in Italy or allow them to come to the UK without spending £200 each on tests."

‘This is a devastating blow to the travel industry’

@Adrian King:

"This is a devastating blow to the travel industry. The only sector which is effectively barred from operating. I feel huge job losses are about to be announced, devastating the lives of thousands of families."

'Many countries will not allow British tourists'

@Nikki Hayes:

"It's all a bit academic when many countries will not allow British tourists because of our infection levels. The government needs to hurry up with the vaccine passports. We should already be able to use them, given our status is shown on the NHS app or can be obtained via a letter."

Share your view on the Government's new green 'watchlist' in the comments section below
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