Ministers were on Monday urged to end “roulette” foreign travel rules that force families to “gamble” thousands of pounds on holidays which they may have to cancel.

Tory MPs, aviation chiefs and travel bosses called on the Government to ditch plans to introduce a new “amber watch” list, warning that it will torpedo holiday bookings.

However, a minister defended bringing in the new category in the Government’s foreign travel “traffic light system”, saying that it would give people vital information about the pandemic’s “direction” in various countries, so that they could make “common sense” decisions about summer breaks.

Boris Johnson and senior ministers are expected to review the “traffic light” lists on Thursday, although this announcement could be brought forward.


But the Prime Minister was facing a growing revolt over the travel rules which have developed to include “green watch”, “amber plus” and possibly now “amber watch” categories, with speculation that Spain and even Italy could soon be placed on the latter, which would mean they could be put on the red list at short notice.

Red list countries require hotel quarantine on return to the UK, at a cost of £1,750 for solo travellers. Conservative MP Henry Smith, chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group for the Future of Aviation, told Talk Radio: “The moment there is this uncertainly that you might go to Spain but suddenly it might turn into a red list country and you have to rush back or have to quarantine at vast expense in a hotel… you feel like you are sitting at the roulette table, taking a massive gamble.”

Most people would “quite understandably” not want to take such a risk and so would not press ahead with such a break abroad, he added.

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