May 10, 2021

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Boris is under pressure to fix foreign holidays quickly! Ministers urge prime minister to expand “green list”


Today, Boris Johnson faces a ministerial revolt amid concerns that only a handful of holiday destinations will open this month.

Senior ministers grapple over the size of the “green list” for travel from 17 May – leaving millions of Britons in limbo as they question whether they should book flights.

Gibraltar and Malta may be on the list – but most of Europe and the United States will remain off limits amid concerns of various strains.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock and Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty are said to be among those pushing for green-ranked states to be kept at an absolute minimum.

But other cabinet ministers have reportedly been urging a more flexible approach, insisting that with the outbreak in the UK and vaccines making strong progress, the government has no right to continue curbing freedoms.

Portugal is one country that could be added, as advocates say the contagion and risk of contracting the variants is now very low.

Meanwhile, a group of members of parliament from different parties insisted that the holidays be discouraged even after they become legal within two weeks.

Alan French, CEO of Thomas Cook, tried to make a more positive note about the outlook later in the summer, saying there had been “significant progress” in preparing destinations like Portugal and Spain for the return of vacationers.

Today, Boris Johnson faces pressure from ministers to expand the “green list” for travel and give millions of Britons hope for a vacation abroad this summer. Pictured: A beach in Malaga, Spain

Ministers are said to be preparing to challenge the prime minister (pictured) today over the number of countries on the `` green list '' for travel

Ministers are said to be preparing to challenge the prime minister (pictured) today over the number of countries on the “ green list ” for travel

The government is expected to announce early this week the first countries the British can visit without quarantine – but the list is believed to include only a handful of destinations.

The so-called “green list” will be updated every three weeks, increasing the likelihood that new countries – including popular destinations in Europe – will be announced before the end of this month.

For most of the country, the mid-term break begins May 31.

Under the traffic light system for traveling abroad, returnees from green countries will not need to be quarantined but will have to take two tests for Covid – one before they return to the UK, which can be either a side-flow test or a PCR test, and a PCR test on the second day. After their return.

Under the traffic light system for traveling abroad, returnees from green countries will not need to be quarantined but will have to take two tests for Covid – one before they return to the UK, which can be either a side-flow test or a PCR test, and a PCR test on the second day. After their return.

Families prepare to get the green light for their summer vacation at some popular European hotspots before the end of the month (Gibraltar pictured)

Families prepare to get the green light for their summer vacation at some popular European hotspots before the end of the month (Gibraltar pictured)

Sources say that the so-called

Sources say that the so-called “green list” will be updated every three weeks, increasing the likelihood that new countries will emerge – including popular destinations in Europe.

Those who return from countries classified in either amber or red will still be quarantined, either at home or in a hotel, and will undergo three mandatory tests. Government officials are debating whether to adhere to previous policy plans to exempt all children under the age of 11 from having to be tested.

Most European countries are expected to get amber status this week, but there is optimism that some will turn green when the list is updated next time.

The ban on foreign holidays will end on May 17, along with the threat of fines for attempting to travel without reason.

But before the restrictions were lifted, a cabinet split emerged, according to the Times.

In particular, cabinet ministers have urged the prime minister to veto Health Secretary Matt Hancock and England’s chief medical officer Chris Whitty.

The couple are said to be pushing Johnson to limit the number of countries on the “green list” to a “small” group.

A government source told The Times: “You have the usual hawks on the health side like Matt Hancock and Chris Whitty who are more cautious.”

But another government minister told the newspaper that they were trying to intervene and increase the number of countries on the list.

They said: The government has no right to take away people’s freedoms. I did it because we were in a state of emergency but these rights do not belong to the government.

Mr French suggested that Thomas Cook hope for a much wider opening by the height of the summer season.

“When the appropriate holidays start at the end of June, we expect most of the countries the UK goes to on vacation – Europe in particular – to be open,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today program.

Expect Portugal, Spain, Greece and Croatia to be open, it would be nice if Turkey was open.

“When we look at what is going on in those countries, in terms of infection rates and how they are preparing for the holidays, I think there is a lot of progress being made.”

It appears that overseas holidays are set to resume this month as the government prepares to reveal

It appears that foreign holidays are due to resume this month as the government prepares to unveil the “green list” next week. Ministers are preparing to decide next week that foreign holidays can resume from May 17, the next stage in which restrictions are eased

Meanwhile, the All-Party Parliamentary Group on COVID (APPG) today released a report recommending that holidays abroad should not be encouraged – even once they are legalized.

In their report, the Cross-Party MPs Group said: “ The UK government should discourage all international leisure travel to prevent the import of new species into the UK, in order to reduce the risks of the third wave and further lockdowns.

This recommendation should be implemented promptly and reviewed on a quarterly basis.

The group insisted that the government maintain the restrictions and continue to support the travel industry – which could lose billions of pounds if overseas holidays are banned for the second year in a row.

This comes as Foreign Minister Dominic Raab warned yesterday that some measures such as masks will be implemented in the summer.

While he insisted that the United Kingdom is “ heading towards the corner ” with the decline of Covid, he stressed that “ some guarantees ” may remain to ward off another possible wave of the virus.

“We want to reach this position at the end of June when we can restore life to as close to normal as possible, but some precautions are still needed,” he told the Andrew Marsh Show program.

Raab later refused to deny that there were tensions within the cabinet about facilitating travel abroad, telling The Times Radio, “ It is absolutely right that we discuss and discuss these issues very carefully. We want to open up, this is our instinct as a country.

We want to travel for social and economic reasons.

On the other hand, it is clearly needless to say that we want to make sure that we can do so safely. So I think this is the right approach. It is a balance.