BRITS need to be prepared for more countries to follow Greece and stay closed to holidaymakers from the UK because our coronavirus levels are too high.
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TUI’s Managing Director Andrew Flintham made the warning after the decision by the Greek government to extend their UK flight ban until July 15Credit: Alamy
Decisions to maintain closed borders with the UK could lead to last minute holiday cancellations – as thousands of Brits faced this week following the Greek announcement.
The announcement from Athens came just days before the Downing Street is expected to announce air bridges with other countries, to allow quarantine-free travel.
Greece was thought to be included in this, along with France and Spain, although this may no longer be the case.
Mr Flintham told Radio 4’s Today programme: “The conversations with overseas countries, as Greece has demonstrated, is a two-way decision.
“So I think there are still going to be a few bumps in the road and I still think there will be some countries that won’t be opening up – which means we’ll have to cancel a few more holidays, but hopefully not as many as we’ve been cancelling.”
The announcement by the Greeks yesterday led to TUI cancelling flights and holidays for thousands of customers to Crete, Kos, Corfu and Rhodes from Gatwick, Manchester and Birmingham.
The announcement by the Greeks yesterday led to TUI cancelling flights and holidays for thousands of customers to Crete, Kos, Corfu and RhodesCredit: Alamy
But the TUI boss said the announcement wasn’t all bad news – even if it did
He said: “It’s obviously frustrating but it’s also good news that we’re actually getting news around us being able to restart holidays.
“We announced actually over the weekend that we were going to restart our holiday programme on July 11 without any real official confirmation from the government.
“So Greece saying they expect our customers to be able to go there from July 15 is a good thing, as we can plan and people can book and enjoy their holidays there.”
TUI are still planning to restart flights to a small number of holiday destinations from July 11, including Palma and Lanzarote.
The travel company will then increase the number of routes throughout the rest of July and August.
The announcement from Greece came just days before the Downing Street is expected to announce air bridges with other countries Credit: Alamy
Yesterday, Sun Online reported that holidays will be back on within days as the Government confirmed it would ditch the 14-day blanket quarantine rules for everyone coming into the country.
In a written statement Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said that the Government will “shortly begin to ease the health measures at the UK border” which will allow passengers to be “exempted from self isolation requirements”.
The Government will outline later this week which countries will be on the safe list, and the rules will apply to anyone coming in via plane, rail or boat.
A traffic light system will be set up to show people whether the place they are returning from is safe enough they don’t have to isolate.
People coming back from green or amber countries will be exempt.
However, anyone coming in from a ‘red’ alert country will still have to quarantine.
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It is expected the Foreign Office will also lift advice telling Brits not to travel abroad unless essential.
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