Jet2 has cancelled all of its international flights and holidays up to 1 July following the changes to the Government’s travel lists.
The budget-friendly airline has suspended its programme from 24 June to 1 July after the travel green list was changed on Thursday (3 June), with Portugal being moved over to the amber list.
Calls for complete openness
Travellers who had a flight booked to a country which is on, or has been moved to the amber list is able to amend their booking free of charge, if they were due to travel between 1 July and 21 July 2021.
Jet2 said that flights to Turkey, which remains on the “red” list, will not restart until 22 July.
The airline added that customers who have been affected by changes to its programme will have their bookings automatically cancelled and will be given a full refund.
Jet2 has now called for “openness and transparency” on Covid-19 data in the wake of the changes so that the travel industry can better understand decisions which affect airlines and their customers.
Steve Heapy, CEO of Jet2.com and Jet2holidays said: “We know how disappointed our customers and independent travel agency partners will be following today’s announcement, and we share their concerns and frustrations.
“We are now calling for complete openness and transparency when it comes to the data, so that customers and the industry can really understand what is driving these decisions.
“We agree that public health must be the number one priority. However, despite all the evidence and data showing that travel can restart safely and at scale, the UK continues to remain largely grounded whilst the rest of Europe opens up.”
What are the travel list changes?
Portugal was moved from the green list to the amber list following the Government’s update on Thursday.
The decision to move the country, including Madeira and the Azores, follows increasing concern over the spread of Covid-19 variants, including a mutation of the Delta variant.
The Government said there is a risk these variants could be brought back and spread in the UK if people are not required to quarantine on their return.
Portugal has seen an almost doubling in the Covid-19 test positivity rate since the first review of the travel traffic light system, far exceeding the Office for National Statistics (ONS) estimated national positivity rate in the UK.
More significantly, according to data published on GISAID, 68 cases of the Delta Covid variant have been identified in Portugal, including cases of the Delta variant with an additional, potentially detrimental, mutation.
Public Health England is investigating this variant and mutation to determine if it could be more transmissible and less effectively tackled by vaccines, which could potentially put the lockdown roadmap at risk.
In addition, seven countries were also added to the red list, with all changes to the travel lists due to come into effect at 4am on Tuesday 8 June.
The full list of additional countries added to the ‘red list’ includes Afghanistan, Bahrain, Costa Rica, Egypt, Sri Lanka, Sudan, and Trinidad & Tobago.
While the number of green list countries remains low, the Government is urging the public not to travel to amber classified destinations due to the prevalence of Covid-19 variants and case rates being greater in these locations.
UK Health Security Agency chief executive, Dr Jenny Harries, said: “Increases in case rates in the UK serve as a reminder that this pandemic is not over yet and we need to take a cautious approach.
“Everyone should observe the travel guidance, continue to follow hands, face, space and fresh air, and have both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine when offered.
“Testing will help to break chains of transmission and allow us to see which variants are circulating so make sure you get tested when you return to the UK in line with the guidance.”