Published: 12:15, 04 June 2021
| Updated: 14:54, 04 June 2021
A Kent travel agent has criticised the government's decision to remove Portugal from the UK’s travel green list.
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Chris Scoble runs Go Scoble travel agents
Ministers in this country say the decision has been made because of fears over a new Covid mutation and a rising number of cases.
Chris Scoble from Tunbridge Wells based Go Scoble said: "It was the shock really because no one was expecting it. We were expecting actually to have countries go onto the green list and to open up some more destinations for our customers. It’s very, very out of the blue.”
It means there will be no European countries for British tourists to travel to without having to isolate on return.
And leaders in Portugal have questioned the decision saying any virus case increases are around Lisbon, not on popular beaches in the Algarve.
As well as disappointing holidaymakers it is feared many families will miss out on long awaited reunions.
Mr Scoble added: "It means a lot for customer of course because yes their plans have been scuppered, and we were told there was going to be a green list watch list which would give us three weeks notice - that has been ignored and back to last summers chaos again. So yes, customers very disappointed of course. But also for the wider travel industry it’s devastating to be honest.
"People have been absolutely desperate to get to see families (abroad), some people may be ill, some people they haven’t seen for 15-16 months. It is really, really disappointing.”
There are now calls for more transparency and clarity on what may happen with other countries in the weeks to come.
Mr Scoble believes the industry deserves better: "Normally I can understand the reasons and we’re ready for it and we’re sort of primed, this time I just can not understand the reasoning behind the action.
"In truth, I think that we in the travel industry would be, not happy of course, but if we have clarity to say we are not going anywhere - let’s just shut down until July 1 or whatever, they we’ll review. Rather than having a traffic light system that literally is holiday hokey cokey. You’re in one minute, you’re out the next. It’s just dreadful."