The heads of the country’s national carrier British Airways, budget airline easyJet, and of Heathrow Airport are calling for Greece to be included on the UK’s green list, for more travel routes to open up, and for simpler Covid-19 testing procedures. Greece is currently on the UK’s ‘amber’ list.
The country’s aviation and travel professionals are warning that a decision on Monday, May 17, to allow quarantine-free travel to 12 countries (green list) only is limiting any potential for recovery of the industry.
“What’s crucial is that travel becomes easier for people,” said British Airways Chief Executive Sean Doyle, adding that the government would have to ease measures if it wanted to help airlines and travel companies survive.
British Airways, easyJet, and Heathrow slammed the “limited” green list and called on the government to publish an “expected list” of destinations under consideration for summer travel which will allow holidaymakers to plan accordingly.
“We are calling on the government to help people to plan ahead by publishing a list of countries expected to be on the green list for the summer,” said Heathrow’s Chief Executive John Holland-Kaye.
He went on to add that France, Greece and Spain should be included on the safe list, expressing his “surprise and disappointment” that the Caribbean was not included.
In the meantime, Greek Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis told British media last week on his visit to London that he was optimistic, expecting Greece to be taken off the “amber list” very soon. Greece is among the top three destinations of choice for British travelers and a leading source market for the country.
All executives said travel to the US, the Caribbean, France, Greece, and Spain should be open for restriction-free travel before summer, adding that fully vaccinated travelers should not be required to present a Covid-19 test on return from a low-risk country.
Under current UK guidelines, passengers who travel to Greece or any other “amber country” are required to quarantine at home for 10 days when they return from their holiday.