MPs and travel bosses furious at the cautious green list as thousands of Brits made a dash for the beaches of Portugal

0
159

TRAVEL bosses and MPs raged at the Government’s cautious green list yesterday as thousands of Brits made a dash for the beaches of Portugal.

And, as the first tourists jetted off for some southern sunshine, Boris Johnson’s former right-hand man Dominic Cummings branded Britain’s Covid borders policy a “joke”.

Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest updates

Thousands of Brits made a dash for the beaches of Portugal after holidays were made legal again yesterday

But travel bosses and MPs raged at the cautious green list

The PM and Health Secretary Matt Hancock were urged to add more popular sunshine destinations to the green list by the start of the summer season.

EasyJet chief Johan Lundgren wants ministers to make more of Europe green, warning: “The Germans are going to beat the Brits to the sun loungers and for no good reason at all.”

Just 12 countries and territories are on the green list for quarantine-free travel — with only Portugal and Gibraltar sunshine destinations. The likes of France, Spain, Italy and Greece are all amber, with Mr Hancock yesterday urging people not to travel.

He said: “Unless you have an exceptional reason, you should not be travelling there.”

Tory MP Huw Merriman, chairman of the influential Transport Select Committee fumed: “Can I ask you what the point of me having my passport is anymore?” He added: “When will this government actually take a little bit of risk and allow people to get on with their lives again?”

It emerged last night that the 27 EU states were tomorrow likely to add the UK to their white list of countries from which tourists were allowed.

It comes as Boris Johnson was urged to add more popular sunshine destinations to the list by the start of the summer season

Matt Hancock yesterday urged people not to travel to countries such as France, Spain, Italy and Greece, unless for ‘exceptional reasons’

‘A catastrophic misstep’

Brits heading to Portugal yesterday were delighted to be able to finally get away. Kevin and Pauline Nash, from Essex, were among the first to board a green list flight to Faro in Portugal from Gatwick.

Company chairman Kevin, 66, said: “We’re excited to go on holiday, we haven’t been away since last September. It’s been a long, cold winter at home so we’re looking forward to it.”

Ali White, 54, was heading to Faro with student midwife daughter Becca, 27 and husband Paul, an engineer. She said: “We’ve an apartment there we haven’t seen in 14 months.”

David and Hazel Allsopp said they were glad to be returning to their home on the Algarve after getting stuck in the UK visiting family in December. David, 82, said: “It’ll be nice to finally get back home to the sunshine.”

Jamelah May, 42, from London, was travelling from Heathrow to Faro with ten-year-old daughter Miley-May. She said: “In the past year I’ve lost my business and it’s been horrific.”

Meanwhile, Shadow Health Secretary Jonathan Ashworth called the UK’s borders policy a “sieve”. He said: “The delay in adding India to the red list surely now stands as a catastrophic misstep.”

British holidaymakers are some of the first to fly to Gibraltar

David and Lynne Wilson, daughter Kelly and tot in Gibraltar

Shadow Health Secretary Jonathan Ashworth said: ‘The delay in adding India to the red list surely now stands as a catastrophic misstep’
Boris Johnson’s former de facto chief of staff Dominic Cummings blasted the ‘joke border policy’

 

The PM’s former de facto chief of staff Dominic Cummings also blasted the “joke border policy” and said Britain should have acted more like Taiwan to combat the virus.

MP Greg Clark labelled the ban on flying to amber countries “rather strange advice”. And ex Tory Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt asked for “absolute clarity” on the amber list.

British Airways boss Sean Doyle said there were many reasons why people needed to travel and the advice was not clear.