Travel agents cautiously optimistic at green list changes after new destinations added

"It's good to see more countries on the list, but we need to be careful as the list could change once again."

Crane Beach in Barbados, which is one of 16 new additions to the green travel list
Crane Beach in Barbados, which is one of 16 new additions to the green travel list

The announcement of new countries on the green travel list has been met with caution, but also optimism from travel agents across the region.

A total of 16 new destinations were added to the government's green travel list, allowing travellers to travel to them without having to quarantine or self-isolate on return to the UK.

The green list had previously only contained 11 countries, with only Gibraltar and Iceland seen as viable travel locations, but now contains a number of Spanish and Caribbean islands, with more flights from Birmingham Airport due to start next week.

Among travel agents in West Bromwich, Smethwick and Wolverhampton, the view of the additions was varied, with some pleased to have the opportunity to take bookings and others wary of doing too much, too soon.

Toni Kooner of Travel my World in West Bromwich said the news was good for everyone as it allowed more people to get away and travel.

He said: "Malta and the Spanish islands are very popular venues and it's good to see them on the green list after so long.

"I do think more countries should be on there as I see the United Arab Emirates on the red list and don't understand why as they've been vaccinating people.

"We're looking forward to seeing more people come in to book flights and holidays, so it's a real boost for us."

David Cheshire at Co-operative Travel Wolverhampton said he was excited to see the countries added to the green list

He said: "These have always been popular destinations in the past and if they are seen as being safe to travel to, then that's exciting for us and for travellers.

"As long as it's safe for customers to travel, then it gives us products we can see to them as there has been this pent-up demand for customers who haven't been able to travel for years.

"We'll keep an eye on the green list to see who gets added to it, but as long as they are declared safe to be on the list, then that's ok with me.

"We have new destinations they can go to without having to quarantine on their return and go and see friends and family again, so it's all positive."

Sukhvinder Singh of Jays Travel in Smethwick was more cautious, saying he wanted more time to be given between changes to the lists.

He said: "I'm finding that airlines are still reluctant to add more flights as the government could change the list at any time, like what happened with Portugal.

"To me, there should be a two week period between any changes, as it takes a long time to fly back from Barbados and Grenada, whereas short-haul flights don't have as much of an issue.

"I'm still pleased to see more destinations available and I'm looking forward to seeing the likes of the USA and Canada opening up more, which will benefit us as a long-haul travel company."

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