Fury of Falkirk travel firm over no new green list destinations
The UK Government’ announcement no new destinations will be added to the green travel list was met with disappointment and despair from a local travel agent.
Barrhead Travel, based in Falkirk High Street, had hoped popular summer destinations like the Spanish and Greek islands – and Malta – were going to be awarded green status last week.
However, no additions were made to the green list – countries people can travel to without having to be quarantined upon their return home – amid concerns about rising coronavirus case rates in the UK.
And former green list country Portugal was now moved into amber status.
Barrhead Travel president Jacqueline Dobson said: “This announcement further compounds the damage that has already been inflicted on the travel industry. It’s disappointing for the industry and it will be a hammer blow to the thousands of travellers who haven’t seen family or loved ones for months on end and those holidaymakers who are already abroad.
“At the drop of a hat the government has determined that these changes are required without meaningful consultation with the industry and without due consideration for the consequences.
"We have long been at the stage where a genuine, tangible route map out of this crisis is required. Sadly, it appears that this is not forthcoming and instead we hurtle from one disastrous announcement to another.
“We know that public health has to come first but the travel industry needs to see a clear roadmap to recovery or risk further permanent damage. Across the world, international travel is beginning to safely restart and, without imminent timelines in place for the UK, we risk falling well behind our global counterparts.
“There are thousands of travellers either in the UK, or worse, abroad, who have had their plans upended. Both the industry and travellers were expecting, at the very least, the promised green watchlist tier which would have made for a softer transition and helped to keep confidence afloat for travel.
“As we have done throughout the pandemic, we will ensure our customers are provided with the assistance they require. However, engagement with the industry on this point is of paramount importance. It is simply unsustainable to continue lurching from one contradictory announcement to the other without meaningful consultation with the industry beforehand.”