The low-cost airline easyJet claims four in five Brits believe fully vaccinated travellers should be allowed to travel freely from green and amber list countries without the need to take any form of COVID-19 test and the majority now believe the UK is lagging behind Europe in making the most of its vaccination rollout to reopen international travel.
Research conducted by easyJet revealed that even after shopping around for the cheapest available COVID-19 tests, a family of four travelling from a green list country could be forced to spend £400 on mandatory tests. The bill could easily double when returning from an amber list destination.
Johan Lundgren, easyJet’s chief executive fears the British government’s current travel policies will make flying the “preserve of the rich” and turn back the clock to a time when only the wealthy could travel abroad.
“The government’s own data shows that testing travellers coming from Europe is not necessary,” Lundgren complained. “The government has shifted its focus on living with Covid and opened up the domestic economy. We now need to take the same next step for travel and recognise that those who are fully vaccinated do not need to be tested when they are travelling from countries which are not on the Red list.”
At a time when vaccination rates are plummeting and only a quarter of under 30s are fully vaccinated, nearly half of those polled by easyJet said the ability to travel was one of the main reasons for choosing to get jabbed.
But 58 per cent of Brits say it’s taken way too long to reap the benefits of being vaccinated and 63 per cent say the UK is now lagging behind Europe in opening up international travel after a slow initial rollout of the vaccine.
Travel rules were changed on Monday allowing fully vaccinated travellers coming from amber list countries to skip a 10-day quarantine but a pre-departure test is still required along with a second test on day two after arrival.
Even travellers from Green list countries with very low levels of infection must take a pre-departure and Day 2 test.
Nine in ten Brits believe the government’s travel rules have been confusing and even more confusion was sown last week when a new Amber+ category was created just for France requiring even fully vaccinated Brits to self-isolate for 10-days on arrival.
There is even speculation that popular holiday destinations like Spain could be thrown on the Amber+ list within days over fears of the spread of the Beta variant although government infighting has so far prevented other countries from being subjected to the enhanced rules.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.