British tourists cannot visit any of the 10 new travel corridors that were announced yesterday by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, sparking disbelief and disillusionment among industry leaders.
The weekly review of the green list saw the addition of Aruba, Timor-Leste, Solomon Islands, Samoa, Mongolia, Bhutan, Micronesia, Kiribati, Vanuatu and Tonga.
The latter seven in this list have all closed their borders to British holidaymakers, while Timor-Leste and the Solomon Islands require a 14-day quarantine upon arrival. Aruba cannot be reached without transiting through a country with restrictions in place, such as the United States or the Netherlands.
These largely useless additions feel like a particular blow to the travel industry, when tour operators and Telegraph Travel have been calling for more corridors to countries that are actually welcoming British travellers. Costa Rica, Belize, Brazil, Cape Verde, Botswana, Mexico, South Africa, Ecuador, Guatemala, Jamaica, Kenya, Zimbabwe and Egypt, all of which have lower Covid case rates than the UK, remain on the quarantine list but are open to tourists.
Paul Goldstein, who runs Kicheche Camps in Kenya, said, “As ever [Shapps’] decision is not based on any sort of reason, sense or, indeed, science and, after his African blunders last week, when two countries were granted corridors without any direct accessibility, he has reverted to disgracefully ignoring this continent again. He is bankrupting […] the UK travel industry with his idiotic policies, just as his chum Hancock is bankrupting UK hospitality with his tiers. “
James Aitken, CEO of Cashel Travel and MD of Travelmediate UK and USA, replied with an air of sarcasm to the announcement on Twitter, “More great news! Travel to and from the Solomon Islands is now possible. Assuming we could get there without travelling through any other airports. What a relief to our struggling travel industry!”
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