Travel news – live: Turkey, Maldives and South Africa ‘should leave red list’, as UK-Australia flights on sale

By Lucy Thackray and Simon Calder
Getty Images/iStockphoto

As UK travellers wait to see what changes the government will make to the “traffic light” system, The Independent’s travel correspondent Simon Calder has made his predictions.

“The UK’s travel restrictions make us a laughing stock abroad – but they are also crippling airlines and holiday firms.

“Assuming the leaks are correct and the whole ludicrous system is to be dismantled, the industry will naturally be relieved – but will also demand to know why the government made going abroad so difficult for so long.

“The current restrictions aren’t just making holidaymakers jumpy about booking – they are also destroying inbound tourism to the UK, and hundreds of thousands of jobs with it.

“The red list is way too long. Travel to almost a third of the world’s countries requires thousands of pounds spent on 11 nights in a hotel room on arrival.

Expert analysts concur that Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, the Dominican Republic, the Maldives, South Africa and Turkey should be taken off the red list. But as the government has shown many times, it can deliver wildly different conclusions.”

In other news, Qantas has scheduled flights between London and Sydney and London and Melbourne from 18 December.

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