TUI, EasyJet and Ryanair CANCEL all flights and holidays to Greece after it bans travellers from the UK until July 15 because of high coronavirus infection rate
- TUI, Ryanair, Easyjet, Jet2 and British Airways have all axed travel plans for Brits
- Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis extended UK flight ban to July 15 due to Covid
- Move taken despite UK hopes to include Greece in quarantine-free travel plan
- Ministers expected to release official list of air bridge candidates this week
Travel firms have been forced to scrap thousands of flights and holiday packages in Greece after the nation extended its ban on arrivals from the UK.
TUI, Ryanair, Easyjet, Jet2 and British Airways have all axed travel plans for Brits who booked in the hope of a quick getaway in early July.
But the Greek prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis last night extended a UK flight ban due to end on July 1 to July 15.
He took the action despite UK plans to include Greece in a ‘green’ group of countries it was safe for Britons to travel to using quarantine-free air bridges, when a list is released later this week.
Greece has been relatively lightly affected by coronavirus, but the UK continues to be one of the worst affected countries in Europe.
Tui, the UK’s biggest tour operator, was due to serve four Greek islands when it resumed operations on July 11, while EasyJet had announced plans to resume flights from the UK to Greece next week with fares starting at £39.99.
The boss of TUI this morning demanded clarity over the air bridge scheme, warning that other countries could follow Greece’s example.
Andrew Flintham, managing director of TUI UK & Ireland, said the proposal could only work after ‘two-way conversations’ between Britain and other countries, adding: ‘I think there’s still going to be a few bumps in the road.’
TUI, Ryanair, Easyjet, Jet2 and British Airways have all axed travel plans to Greece (pictured) for Brits who booked in the hope of a quick getaway in early July
Greek prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis last night extended a UK flight ban due to end on July 1 to July 15.
He took the action despite UK plans to include Greece in a ‘green’ group of countries it was safe for Britons to travel to using quarantine-free air bridges, when an official list is released later this week
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps last night officially ended the much-criticised blanket quarantine programme just three weeks after it was introduced for visitors and those returning to homes in the UK.
In a Written Ministerial Statement to MPs he confirmed new measures unveiled by Downing Street on Saturday, to come into effect ‘shortly’.
Under the traffic light system, drawn up by the Joint Biosecurity Centre and Public Health England and set to be in place by July 6, countries will be rated green, amber or red based on coronavirus infection levels, the reliability of official data and confidence in test and trace systems.
The automatic 14-day quarantine requirement will remain only for ‘red-rated’ countries such as the US and Brazil. Travel between ‘green’ and ‘amber’ countries will be quarantine-free, but passengers will have to fill in a ‘locator form’ to trace their movements.
But it came as Athens has extended its prohibition on UK flights to the country from July 1 until July 15, despite plans for it to feature on the UK’s list of countries eligible for quarantine-free travel.
It cited the UK’s high rate of coronavirus cases as one of the factors, with Sweden also being blocked for the same reason.
Greece has previously flip-flopped over allowing UK tourists back in, at one point asking the UK for a deal.
The state-run Amna news agency reported that prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis told a tourism industry meeting in Athens today: ‘The whole opening procedure is dynamic and the data will be continuously evaluated.’
An Easyjet spokesman told the Mirror: ‘We will being reviewing our flying schedule and any customers whose flights are required to be cancelled as a result of any restrictions will be notified and informed of their options which include a free of charge transfer, a voucher for the value of their booking or a refund.’
And a TUI spokesman added: ‘In accordance with updated advice from the Greek Government, our planned flights to Greece between 11-14 July won’t go ahead.
When we announced our plans to re-start summer holidays, we always said they were subject to Government guidelines. We’ll continue to monitor these and update our holiday programme as needed.’
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