Norwich airport destinations added to foreign travel green list
- Credit: Archant
Holidaymakers could be flown back to the Balearic Islands this summer, after coronavirus restrictions on foreign holidays were eased for a number of destinations.
The government has added 14 new countries and territories to its green list of destinations from which travellers do not have to self-isolate on their return.
The Balearic Islands are on the list, including Menorca, Majorca and Ibiza, which travellers can usually reach via Norwich airport.
All three destinations are listed on the airport's website. The airport was yet to confirm if the flights would return.
But many popular hotspots including France, Greece, Italy and mainland Spain remain off limits to UK holidaymakers.
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All but one destination - Malta - was also put on a watchlist, which means they are at risk of returning to the amber list.
This comes following fears of a potential new EU-wide restrictions on travellers from the UK over concerns about the spread of the Delta variant - just as cases on the continent are coming down.
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Transport Secretary Grant Shapps held out the prospect that people visiting amber list countries who had received two doses of the vaccine would not need to self-isolate on return, with an announcement due next month.
But across the beleaguered travel sector there was concern that it would all be too late to rescue the summer season.
The Airport Operators Association chief executive Karen Dee said the government's "overly cautious" approach would continue to have "major financial impacts" on the sector.
"Any extension of the green list is welcome, however small, but we also have to be realistic: this is not yet the meaningful restart the aviation industry needs to be able to recover from the pandemic," she said.
CBI chief UK policy director Matthew Fell said: "While welcome, these limited movements on green list countries won't be enough to salvage the summer season for the international travel sector.
"International connectivity extends far beyond tourism and underpins our whole economy. The UK's successful vaccine rollout means we should be in the vanguard of safely restarting international travel."
The holiday company On the Beach said it would not be taking new bookings for July and August while so much uncertainty remained about countries on the watchlist.
However, Thomas Cook chief executive Alan French was more upbeat saying he expected a "bumper weekend" of bookings.
The destinations added to the green list:
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Balearic islands
- British Antarctic Territory
- British Indian Ocean Territory
- British Virgin Islands
- Cayman Islands
- Pitcairn Islands
- Turks and Caicos Islands