Fully vaccinated Brits should be allowed to travel abroad, says Ryanair boss

FULLY-vaccinated Brits should be able to travel abroad without restrictions, the boss of Ryanair has said.

The low-cost airline's CEO Michael O'Leary called for the government to allow UK travellers with both Covid jabs to be able to travel to Europe.

He said: "UK citizens, almost 80 per cent of whom will be vaccinated by the end of June, continue to face Covid restrictions on travel to and from the European Union, despite the fact that the majority of the European Union citizens will also be vaccinated by the end of June."

"UK tourism and aviation needs a pragmatic travel policy, which permits vaccinated UK and EU citizens to travel between the UK and the EU without the need for quarantine or negative PCR tests.

"This will at least allow the UK tourism industry to plan for what is left of the summer season and get hundreds of thousands of people back to work.

Mr O'Leary said Boris Johnson's "gross mismanagement" needed to end, with the UK's successful vaccine programme needing to open up travel to the EU where some countries have lower Covid cases and increasing vaccination rates.

He also slammed the green list as being "non-existent" following the removal of Portugal earlier this month.

He added: "The UK’s Covid travel policy is a shambles. The Green List is non-existent because countries such as Malta and Portugal, with lower Covid case numbers than the UK and rapidly rising vaccination rates, remain on Amber."

Earlier this month, Mr O'Leary said that the stop-start travel rules made it "very difficult" for airlines and tourism companies to make plans for the summer.

He explained: "We can't schedule the flights and then cancel them within two weeks because we have to pay compensation to customers, so it's incredibly difficult."

The end to the UK lockdown was delayed last week, with hopes that all restrictions could be lifted by June 21.

However, the prime minister has since delayed this to July 19, with no suggestion when foreign travel could be included in this.

Holidays abroad may not return before August, travel experts have warned, with both Spain and Turkey told not to expect the return of Brits before the end of summer.

The head of the Valencian Hotel Association Association (HOSBEC) Toni Mayor said he didn't expect the return of UK tourism until August after meeting with UK ambassador Hugh Elliott.

He told the Telegraph: "The overall infection levels in Spain are still high in places and the picture is uneven, so I think we will have to wait, possibly until July 20."

However, he added that resorts would need at least two weeks to prepare for the incoming arrival of tourists and capacity levels.

Turkey tourist officials have also told by the Foreign Office not to expect the lifting of UK travel restrictions before August.

Only Gibraltar, Iceland and Israel are open to Brits with few restrictions, with some flight and holiday bookings soaring.

Last week PC Agency's Paul Charles warned that despite many countries meeting the UK government's criteria, the threat of the Delta variant is likely to stop destinations being added to the green list any time soon.

TUI has cancelled trips to Spain, Greece, Cyprus and Italy until at least July 11 due to travel uncertainty while Jet2 has cancelled all holidays until July.

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