Orange list: the joy of the owner of the Suffolk Travel Stop at the change of rule
The owner of an independent travel agency in Suffolk said she was delighted with the “overwhelmingly positive” announcement of the removal from the government’s Amber List.
Bridget Keevil – owner of Travel Stop, which has branches in Elmswell, Hadleigh, Claydon and Buntingford, Hertfordshire – said she “could have cried” after hearing the news.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced on Friday that countries would be placed on one of two lists – a red list and “the rest of the world” – from October 4.
From the end of October, fully vaccinated travelers returning from non-redlisted countries will also be able to take cheaper side-flow Covid tests, instead of PCR tests.
In addition, they will no longer need to take the pre-departure tests.
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Ms Keevil said the past 18 months have been “horrible” and the company, which has lost “hundreds of thousands of pounds”.
“It’s extremely positive,” she said of the announcement.
“I could have cried when I heard that. It’s been a long time coming.
“I think in the coming weeks it will give those who are about to travel or not traveling a little more confidence to leave.
“The Turkey dropping off the red list is a pretty big destination for the late summer sun and has now opened up, so that’s great news.
“There is still a long way to go and the government could have gone much further.
“But I think they have to be seen as cautious and if they opened everything at the same time maybe they would get a backlash from people saying they went too far.
“So I think it’s a very good compromise between doing what they should have done several weeks ago and going too far now.
“I hope that by the end of the year everything will open up a lot more.”
Ms. Keevil added that the past 18 months have sucked life into the normally “happy” experience of booking vacations for people.
“It has been horrible. I never want to relive those 18 months again,” she said.
“It has been heartbreaking. My company is 30 years old this year and for the first time, I am not looking forward to going to work.
“I’ve been mentally and physically exhausted – not booking a vacation, but just having the constant flow of people wanting to go.
“They book, but then you have to cancel and change and explain to people why they can’t get their money back if it’s on a green list and they’ve decided they really don’t want to travel now.
“Normally traveling is so joyful, but over the past 18 months it has been horrible.”
Charlie Cornish, managing director of Manchester Airports Group, which operates Stansted Airport in Essex, said the changes would encourage more people to book.
However, he said the industry’s recovery will be delayed as vaccinated travelers still have to pay for testing.
“Simplifying the UK’s international travel system, including removing pre-departure testing and switching to lateral flow on arrival, will make traveling abroad easier and cheaper,” he said. declared.
“For too long, the recovery of British aviation has lagged behind the rest of Europe.
“The changes announced today will help close this gap by encouraging more people to book trips abroad.
“But as long as vaccinated travelers have to pay for the tests, the recovery of one of the UK’s main industries will be delayed.
“The government must now find a way to give people back the freedom to travel without the barrier of testing. “