ABTA reaction to Balearic Islands being added to Amber list
Today’s decision to move the Balearic Islands to the amber list is a step back for the travel industry. Thousands of travel jobs and businesses are in desperate need of a successful summer season, and this further emphasises the urgent need for tailored financial support for a sector that has struggled to make any meaningful revenue for almost 18 months now.
Helpfully, from Monday 19 July, fully-vaccinated travellers returning to England, Scotland and Wales from amber list countries will no longer need to self-isolate or take an additional test on day eight, so this will minimise the disruption for vaccinated holidaymakers, but quarantine for non-vaccinated travellers remains a significant obstacle.
Consumer confidence is essential if the industry is to trade its way out of this crisis, so the Government must be more transparent about the criteria being used to move countries between the green, amber and red lists to allow travel businesses and customers alike to plan ahead.
The Government also needs to continue to capitalise on the successful vaccine rollout by expanding the green list in line with scientific evidence and reducing the need for and cost of testing, which is a significant barrier to travel for many people. Sufficient border control resource must also be provided at our ports and airports to help make travel as smooth as possible.