A raging battle has erupted in the Cabinet over plans for a danger list of countries that could see destinations like Spain and Italy suddenly move to red. MailOnline has more.
The plans for a new ‘amber watch list’ sparked outrage in Whitehall as some ministers believe it could ruin the holiday hopes of millions of Britons.
The idea, which was agreed in principle this week, would see holidaymakers warned that while they are abroad certain amber countries could go straight on to the red list.
This would leave them facing compulsory hotel quarantine on their return, at a cost of £1,750 a head.
Spain and Italy both featured in talks about countries that could be put into the new category – as soon as next week – amid fears about the Beta variant, which first emerged in South Africa.
Senior ministers, including Transport Secretary Grant Shapps and Chancellor Rishi Sunak, are said to have reservations about imposing further disruption on the beleaguered travel sector.
Mr Shapps urged people to “ignore speculation” ahead of decisions next week. But behind the scenes a battle is raging.
One Whitehall source said: “You would have to be crackers to book a holiday to a place knowing that it could go on to the red list at any moment.
“If you have already booked to go there you are going to spend your whole holiday worrying whether you are going to have to make a dash to the airport to get home.
“The decision next week will basically be in place for August. It is peak holiday season – are we really going to cause that much disruption to this many people?”
Worth reading in full.