Eight more destinations were added to the UK’s quarantine-free list in the Government’s update on Thursday, but just one of these is open to British tourists, which has prompted withering reactions from the travel industry.
Rwanda and Namibia were the first two African countries to be granted a travel corridor, marking a fresh victory for the Telegraph’s Unlock Long-haul campaign. However, of the two, just Rwanda is truly open to UK travellers – the only flights between the UK and Namibia are via countries on the quarantine list.
The other six destinations that were given the green light – Uruguay, Sri Lanka, Israel, the North Mariana Islands, the US Virgin Islands and Bonaire, St Eustatius and Saba – all remain closed to tourists.
Paul Charles, chief executive of travel consultancy The PC Agency, told Telegraph Travel: “The sooner we can have a consistent approach to overseas travel the better. It does seem as though government advisers stick a pin on a world map sometimes to decide which country should be given a travel corridor and it’s no wonder consumers question why Namibia is opened up instead of Jamaica for example?
“There’s no obvious logic to the weekly review as Northern Mariana Islands, that well-known UK tourist hotspot, has proved. Let’s have a consistent traffic light system, as the EU has done; shorter quarantine and move on to normality as early as possible in 2021.”
Meanwhile, Paul Goldstein, co-owner of the Kicheche safari camps in Kenya, said that the government, and particularly Mr Shapps, “have shown a total disregard for the travel industry with their cynically motivated granting of a few miserly travel corridors.”
Referring to the new additions to the travel green list, he added: “Unfortunately, as with so much this hapless government does, there has been zero research.”
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