Holidaymakers wanting to visit amber countries urged to have ‘more patience’

An empty beach on the Spanish island of Ibiza Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

Holidaymakers wanting to visit countries on the Government’s amber list have been urged by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps to have “more patience”.

Popular summer hotspots such as Spain, France, Italy and Greece are among the countries on the list.

Mr Shapps appealed for people to have “a little more patience as the world catches up with our vaccine programme”.

"Every country in the world is put in amber category until proved otherwise and you shouldn't be travelling to the amber category for holidays," he told ITV News.

"Please don't travel in red or amber, certainly not for holidays". Transport Secretary Grant Shapps urges people to pay heed to the government's traffic light system

"If the country has a very good record, for example they've vaccinated as much as we have, then they find themselves in the green and that means you can travel and you don't have to quarantine when you get back.

"On the other hand, if there's a problem, India is the obvious example at the moment, they become a red list country, and only British and Irish citizens, or those with permanent residents are allowed to travel here, and you must government quarantine."

Mr Shapps added: "The simple message is, please don't travel in red or amber, certainly not for holidays."

Travellers returning to Britain from an amber location must quarantine at home for 10 days and take a pre-departure test and two post-arrival tests.

He added that people should only go on foreign holidays to green list countries.

Portugal is currently the only major viable tourist destination on that list.

Asked why holidays were still being sold to countries on the amber list, Mr Shapps said the Government had moved away from a system where things were “banned and illegal” to a situation where people were expected to “apply a bit of common sense”.

The prime minister on Wednesday said that no one should be going to amber countries for a holiday - and should only visit in exceptional circumstances.

However, the head of Ryanair has said "most of the UK population" do not understand the UK's international travel rules and that "hundreds of thousands" of people are booking regardless.

Michael O'Leary, CEO of airline Ryanair, told ITV's Peston Show that he didn't understand the rules, neither did the vast majority of the country, and that people were booking for amber countries anyway.It comes as the government faces criticism for its traffic light system, branded "ridiculous" by the opposition.

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