The owners of East Midlands Airport have said that the green travel list update is a long overdue step towards restarting international travel, but doubts still remain.
The statement comes after 16 countries were added to the green list by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.
Charlie Cornish, CEO of Manchester Airports Group, said: “Today’s announcement is a long overdue step towards a restart for international travel, giving customers more options when looking to book a holiday this summer.
“However, serious questions remain as to why these destinations weren’t opened-up sooner when there is clear evidence to suggest this could have been done weeks ago.
“At the same time, the Government has again failed to publish the data and advice it is using to inform its decisions, which makes it harder to prepare for any future changes to the lists.”
MAG and Ryanair announced a legal challenge against the Government, asking for more clarity around how decisions about the lists have been made.
In court papers lodged at the High Court, the applicants state that the government has a duty to explain how they make decisions, and to publish any supporting data for those made when considering the impact they have on the aviation business.
Mr Cornish added: “Stating an intention to enable double vaccinated people to travel to amber countries without the need to self isolate on return is also long overdue and this policy must be implemented as soon as possible.
“Vague and open-ended promises are just not good enough.
“While UK citizens are stuck at home, Europeans are on the move and taking advantage of their own vaccination programmes to lift restrictions and open-up travel to low-risk destinations.
“The Government already has clear evidence on the effectiveness of vaccines, but its sluggish and opaque response to international travel restrictions is squandering the UK’s leadership in this area.
“With no transparency from Government, we simply cannot understand how Ministers are taking these decisions, which are fundamental to the future of a sector that supports more than 1 million jobs and billions of pounds of economic value.”
The 16 countries added the the UK’s green list will be able to be travelled to from the 30 June.
Many of the countries are on a watch list, meaning it is at risk of moving back to the amber list at short notice so travellers would have to isolate upon their return.
The full countries added to the green list include:
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Balearic Islands (including Mallorca and Ibiza)
- British Antarctic Territory
- British Indian Ocean Territory
- British Virgin Islands
- Cayman Islands
- Israel and Jerusalem
- Pitcairn Islands
- Turks and Caicos Islands
- Antigua in the Caribbean