EU countries 'should be on UK green list' says O'Leary
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This week, it was announced Portugal is set to move onto the amber list and no new destinations will be added to the green list, where travellers must be tested but do not have to quarantine on their return. The green list will be reviewed again on June 28.
However, as Spain remains on England’s amber list, bars in the once-popular Marbella warned they are facing closure if they have to wait another two months to welcome back British tourists.
George Vujnovic, a bartender at a British-themed pub, John Scott’s, said: “Even Puerto Banus is not pandemic proof – especially without British tourists.
“You often get groups of five or 10 and you know how much they’ll drink and they’ll spend a fortune.
“Whereas you might get a French tourist who will spend €10 and leave – there’s no comparison.”
He went on to warn if Spain remains off England’s green travel list, businesses would face closure.
Mr Vujnovic added: “If we are not on the UK green list I could see us and other businesses closing.
“They account for 70 percent to 80 percent of our business.
“It is crazy they will not allowed people over without quarantining.
“Without the UK we are dead. They are incredible spenders.
“In 2019 this whole area would have been packed. Now, look at it.
“I worked in real estate as well last year and that has taken a massive hit here. It’s been a disaster – even for us.”
According to reports, as of last month, 20 percent to 30 percent of businesses had closed in Marbella.
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Oscar Areque, who co-owns The Irish Tavern, added: “Puerto Banus is dominated by UK tourists, about 70 percent, we depend on it so much.
“Now they’re not here lots of places are closed.
“It’s going to be very tough without them for much longer. It is terrible news.”
Portugal was removed from England’s green list with Grant Shapps saying the decision was made due to a rise in cases and over fears surrounding the “Nepal mutation of the so-called Indian variant”.
Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps defended the decision as a “safety-first” precaution.
Mr Shapps told BBC News: “I want to be straight with people, it’s actually a difficult decision to make, but in the end, we’ve seen two things really which have caused concern.
“One is that the positivity rate has nearly doubled since the last review in Portugal, and the other is that there’s a Nepal mutation of the so-called Indian variants which has been detected.”
Mr Shapps continued: “What I want to do with today is difficult, but I hope decisive action, is make sure that we protect the future by not restarting problems which may or may not be there at home, we’ll be able to get international travel down the line open more quickly.
“It’s a safety-first approach given where we are in the fourth stage of the unlock.”
EasyJet lashed out at Government’s decision and said it was a “huge blow” for Portugal.
Johan Lundgren, CEO of EasyJet, said: “This shock decision to add Portugal to the amber list is a huge blow to those who are currently in Portugal and those who have booked to be reunited with loved ones or take a well-deserved break this summer with Portugal rates similar to those in the UK it simply isn’t justified.”
Jet2 has also cancelled all international flights and holidays until July 1 following the green list chaos.
The airline has cancelled all Portugal flights this month, as well as flights to Turkey.
Turkey is currently on the UK’s red list, and it is unlikely restrictions will ease.
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