UK ‘unlikely to reopen foreign travel to major European resorts until August’

Britain is unlikely to reopen overseas travel to the major European holiday destinations until the beginning of August, UK ambassadors have warned.

With domestic unlocking delayed for four weeks, Toni Mayor, the head of the Hosbec association of Valencia region hoteliers, said he did not expect to see UK tourism take off until August, following a meeting with Hugh Elliott, the UK ambassador.

Turkish tourist chiefs are also understood to have received a similar message after meeting with UK Foreign Office officials, and are not expecting any lifting of overseas travel restrictions out of the UK until the beginning of August.

It comes as airlines have also started shrinking their schedules until late July in face of the Government’s decision to push back “freedom day” by a month and the anticipated further delay in expanding the green list for quarantine-free travel.

British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and easyJet are cancelling flights until after the new July 19 date as demand plummets. Virgin Atlantic pushed back journeys from Heathrow to Cuba and Trinidad and Tobago until October as well as transatlantic flights until mid-July.

Budget airline easyJet has started dropping trips to Greece and France up until July 17 as Britons face a second summer trapped at home.

Paul Charles, the chief executive of travel consultancy The PC Agency, said the uncertainty over any prospective restarting of foreign travel was strangling the industry. He urged ministers to set a date, even if it was the beginning of August.



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