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Government accused of confusing holidaymakers over travel lists

UK News | Published:

The Department for Transport and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office published separate lists last week aimed at restarting foreign holidays.

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.

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 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.

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“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.”

“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.

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“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.”

Downing Street said it expected more countries to announce an easing of restrictions on travellers from the UK.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman was asked during a briefing with journalists whether it was “misleading” to have published a quarantine-free list when not all of the places featured were allowing UK visitors in without restrictions.

The No 10 spokesman said: “No, I’ll say a couple of things on that.

“Many countries already don’t impose quarantine restrictions on travellers from the UK and we expect more to ease restrictions on UK travellers following our announcement.

“We are working closely with international partners around the world to discuss arrangements from travellers arriving from the UK.

“It is obviously a changing situation across the world and passengers should check the individual country pages that we make available on gov.uk for travel advice and any restrictions at their destination before they book their trip and before they travel.”

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