Britain is set to remove Portugal from its non-quarantine travel list and no new countries will be added, the BBC reported, again shutting down the UK leisure travel market in a hammer blow to the Airlines companies.
Britain cleared travel on May 17 after more than four months of lockdown, but the limited reopening will be even more restrictive if Portugal, the only major beach destination that had been opened, is also removed from the safe travel list .
Portugal has been a lifeline for airlines and travel agencies for the past three weeks, and its removal would exacerbate the crisis for the travel industry which had waited until June for a recovery to begin.
Airlines like easyJet (EZJ.L) and British Airways (ICAG.L) and travel agencies like TUI and Jet2 (JET2.L), already weakened by 15 months of confinement, will be seriously damaged financially if it there is no reopening this summer.
EasyJet shares traded down 4.5%, while TUI was down 3% and Jet2 was down 6% after BBC reports.
Other popular destinations like Spain, France, Italy and the United States are on an orange list. Traveling in orange and red countries is not illegal but is not recommended.
Concerns about new, more transmissible variants of the coronavirus now threaten the peak summer travel season in Europe, when millions of Britons typically head to southern Europe in July and August.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday warned the travel industry that protecting the vaccine rollout in the country was their priority.
“I want you to know that we will not hesitate to move countries from the green list to the orange list to the red list if we have to do so. The priority is to continue the deployment of the vaccine, to protect the population from this country, “he told reporters.
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