Government accused of confusing holidaymakers over travel lists

The Canary

Only 25 countries on government lists aimed at restarting foreign holidays are accessible for English visitors, according to new analysis.

Last week, the Department for Transport (DfT) named 74 countries and territories from where people will not need to quarantine if they return to or visit England from Friday.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) published a separate list of 67 destinations which are exempt from its advisory against all non-essential travel.

But analysis by travel consultancy The PC Agency and consumer research agency AudienceNet found that just 25 locations included on the lists do not have border controls that stop English visitors entering.

Others are either closed to international flights or impossible to enter without quarantine or coronavirus testing, according to the analysis.

Among the countries included on the government’s lists which have restrictions in place are Austria, Japan, Ireland, New Zealand, Norway and Vietnam.

The PC Agency chief executive Paul Charles said: “Consumers are confused by the two lists produced by the government, as it’s just not clear which countries are actually accessible without having to quarantine on arrival.

“Our research shows that holidaymakers and business travellers from England can only enter 25 countries, out of 74 on the DfT list, without being quarantined.

“It’s vital that the government provides clarity to consumers who are booking, and provides just one list that is accurate and up to date in terms of where we can actually access.”

Emma Coulthurst, consumer advocate for price comparison site TravelSupermarket, said: “The government’s latest information released late on Friday on where UK citizens can holiday this summer has the potential to confuse people and see them unwittingly book holidays which, due to restrictions imposed by the destination country, they might not be able to take.

“There are some countries on the UK government FCO and DfT lists which are refusing UK citizens entry or imposing strict entry requirements, which either completely prevent holidays or make them extremely difficult or more costly.

“It is vitally important that holidaymakers check the individual country’s entry requirements before booking and also book cancel-for-free or flexible rebooking options in case they unintentionally book a holiday which entry restrictions then prevent them from taking.

“The UK government should be making it clearer what the actual situation is for travel from the UK to countries on their lists and providing a lot more clarity on where holidaymakers can actually go to from the UK without restriction.”

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