Holiday ‘confusion & mixed messages’ slammed as UK travellers look ahead to summer breaks

Travel: Lisa Nandy calls for ‘more robust approach’

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Shadow Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Lisa Nandy has slammed the “confusion and mixed messages” of the traffic light system, as some countries begin to tighten restrictions on UK travellers just one week after overseas travel resumed. Over the weekend, Germany issued a ban on UK arrivals over mounting concerns about the spread of the Indian variant in certain parts of England.

Meanwhile, France’s foreign affairs minister Jean-Yves Le Drian has suggested the nation is considering “slightly tougher” measures for UK travellers.

Despite these fears, Britons continue to be allowed to travel overseas to a select list of “green” destinations.

However, Ms Nandy has urged the Government to exercise “caution” when it comes to rules for holidaymakers.

Speaking to Sky News on Monday morning she said: “We have seen an increase in cases, we’ve seen the spread of the Indian variant.

“It seems to me the Government should take a far more robust approach to the borders at the moment.”

Her comments come on the day Spain, currently on the UK’s “amber list”, has reopened its borders to holidaying Britons.

Though the Prime Minister has urged travellers not to visit “amber” destinations for anything other than “essential” reasons, Ms Nandy says she believes there remains a lot of “confusion”.

She explained: “I think the bigger problem is the confusion at this end about what sort of processes and procedures apply to passengers from the UK when we come back into the United Kingdom and whether indeed it is safe to fly.”

The shadow foreign secretary continued: “We have had confusion and mixed messages and I can not see that will serve us well.

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“The Government needs to be far more cautious about unlocking when it comes to foreign travel to make sure we get the vaccine rolled out and that we don’t undo the progress that we have made and the huge sacrifices people have made over the last few months.”

Previously, when addressing travel to “amber” countries, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “I think it’s very important for people to grasp what an amber list country is: it is not somewhere where you should be going on holiday, let me be very clear about that.

“And if people do go to an amber list country, they absolutely have to for some pressing family or urgent business reason, then please bear in mind that you will have to self-isolate, you’ll have to take tests and do your passenger locator form and all the rest of it.”

Education Minister Gillian Keegan further told Times Radio: “Amber list countries are there for a reason – they are there so that you can travel for business, you can travel for particular situations such as funerals or if there are some specific care issues in your family.”

Yet, airlines are already reporting an uptick in ticket sales between the UK and Spain in the coming weeks.

According to the Telegraph, an estimated 100,000 Britons are expected to head to the country this week.

Around 30 flights are due to depart from the UK to Spain on Monday alone.

What’s more, UK passengers will not be required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test or vaccination in order to be granted entry to the holiday hotspot.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in Europe UK travellers are being banned from entering.

As of May 23, only Britons who hold German citizenship or residency are permitted to cross the border.

The only exception is for spouses and children of German residents, or people travelling for urgent humanitarian reasons.

In France, the foreign affairs minister said the country is also “worried” about allowing UK travellers.

“We worry about the Indian variant and we remain on high alert regarding that matter, in co-operation with British authorities,” Jean-Yves Le Drian told RTL radio.

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