Jet2 cancels flights until June 23 as government gives green light to book holidays abroad

Jet2 has extended its suspension on flights and holidays up to June 23 blaming a lack of clarity from the government.

Friday, 9th April 2021, 11:05 am

The announcement came after the government revealed how foreign leisure travel will resume under a traffic light scheme.

Chief executive Steve Heapy said that the framework lacked ‘rigorous detail about how to get international travel going again’.

He said: “Following the publication of the framework today, we still do not know when we can start to fly, where we can fly to and the availability and cost of testing. Rather than answering questions, the framework leaves everyone asking more.”

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People sunbathe at Levante Beach (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

This follows an announcement from Transport Secretary Grant Shapps this morning that people can ‘start to think’ about booking overseas summer holidays once again.

The Cabinet minister said it is the first time in “many months” he was not advising against booking foreign trips.

His comments came just five days after Downing Street published a document which urged people “not to book summer holidays abroad until the picture is clearer”.

On Friday Mr Shapps announced a “framework” for the resumption of overseas leisure travel, which included requiring all arrivals to take pre-departure and post-arrival coronavirus tests.

Post-arrival tests must be the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) type which cost about £120, he said.

This led to a furious backlash from the travel industry, which wants travellers returning from low-risk countries to be allowed to take lateral flow tests, which are cheaper and quicker.

Asked if people could start to book foreign holidays now, Mr Shapps told Sky News: “I’m not telling people that they shouldn’t book summer holidays now, it’s the first time that I’ve been able to say that for many months.”

He said he was looking to “drive down the costs” of tests required for international travel to resume.

“Costs are definitely a concern, it’s one of the factors this year, and we have to accept we’re still going through a global pandemic,” he said.

“And so we do have to be cautious and I’m afraid that does involve having to have some tests and the like.

“But, I am undertaking today to drive down the costs of those tests and looking at some innovative things we could do.”

The Department for Transport (DfT) refused to confirm whether foreign holidays will be permitted from May 17, which is the earliest date under the Prime Minister’s road map for easing coronavirus restrictions in England.

It also insisted it was “too early to predict which countries will be on which list” under a new risk-based traffic light system, with an “initial assessment” to be produced “by early May”.

People arriving from a “green” country will not be required to self-isolate, but those entering the UK from an “amber” destination must quarantine for 10 days.

Existing rules for arrivals from “red” locations will continue, including the requirement to pay to enter a quarantine hotel.

These restrictions will be “formally reviewed” on June 28 to take account of “the domestic and international health picture and to see whether current measures could be rolled back”, the DfT added.

Further reviews will take place no later than July 31 and October 1.

A “Green Watchlist” will be introduced to identify countries most at risk of moving from “green” to “amber”.