Confusion grows over amber list travel as MPs & experts continue to battle over what holidays are allowed

CONFUSION continues to grow over whether Brits can go on holiday abroad after travel restrictions were lifted as MPs disagree over the amber list rules.

Since Monday, travelling abroad on holiday is no longer illegal, with a green list of countries allowing families to return to the UK without having to quarantine.

However, MPs have warned that Brits shouldn't be travelling to countries on the amber list – which includes most of Europe such as Spain, Greece and Italy – while others have said all foreign holidays should be illegal.

Earlier this week, Matt Hancock said that people should only travel to amber countries if "absolutely necessary" while Prime Minister Boris Johnson added: "It is not somewhere you should be going on holiday, let me be very clear about that."

Education Minister Gillian Keegan echoed both Boris Johnson's and Matt Hancock's warning, telling 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.

"But holiday where you have a choice, we are advising you to go to the green list countries, and of course, there's only 12 of those so most people, we anticipate, will stay at home."

She added that she was also "desperate" to go to Spain but said "now is not the right time".

Lord Bethell told peers earlier this week that "travelling is dangerous" and that Brits should stay in the country this year.

He added: "We do ask people, particularly as we go into the summer, travelling is not for this year, please stay in this country."

However, Tory MP Peter Bone slammed his comments, and said he was "wrong" to say that, although agreed that holidays should only be to green destinations right now.

He told BBC's Today programme: "You should only be going on holiday to green countries at the moment. There are essential reasons for going to amber or red countries but you have to face consequences when quarantining."

He also said more countries should be added to the green list, and should include "Malta, some of the Greek islands, Spain and other European countries".

He gave hope for holidays during the peak summer months, adding: "As we move into June and move past June 21 there will be much more opportunity to travel."

More countries could be added from June 7.

Public Health England's Professor Kevin Fenton also warned that Brits shouldn't be travelling overseas just yet – when asked if Brits should think twice about going on holiday abroad right now, he said: "If you're able to, that would be good."

Despite this, thousands of Brits flocked to the airport on Monday after the holiday ban was lifting, with the many travellers heading to green-list Portugal.

Many also headed to amber list destinations such as Spain and Greece with airlines including TUI still offering flights to the countries.

Yet travel companies are already fearing that Brits may postpone their holidays for the second time this summer due to uncertainty.

George Morgan-Grenville, CEO of tour operator Red Savannah said: "[Holiday] bookings started in 2019, and many which were supposed to travel in 2020, postponed to 2021.

"Now we are looking at having to postpone to 2022."

He slammed the current travel advice, explaining: "What is the point of the amber list – you may as well make it the red list. Whats the point of legalising travel only to say you cant travel?

"And if you analyse the green list, it's a joke list."

This week’s best deals on holidays abroad

  • Portugal holidays to book from £131pp now Brit tourists can travel to country
  • Get Universal Orlando theme park tickets for adults at kids’ prices
  • Gibraltar holidays from £105pp as country makes UK green list
  • Cheap Portugal villa holidays and all inclusive hotels
  • Flights for Portugal in June from £10
  • TUI launches summer sale with £50 off Portugal hols or £100 off Greece & Malta

Holidays to Europe were also given a boost yesterday after it was announced that fully vaccinated Brits are set to be welcomed into the EU with no need for a test or quarantine as "Covid passports" get the green light this week.

We've explained what Covid tests you may need for your holiday this year, as well as how much they might cost.

Travel restrictions have lifted in England this week as well, with hotels now open and group holidays able to go ahead.

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