Trips to Spain, Greece and Italy will return in time for the school holidays, the Thomas Cook boss has predicted.
Families hoping to leave this year have yet to receive the green light for overseas trips with the earliest departure date of May 17.
The UK’s traffic light system, which will allow quarantine-free travel to low-risk countries, will be announced in the coming weeks, on a “green” list.
Thomas Cook chief executive Alan French has backed the traffic light system to allow overseas vacations to resume, although he has been warned how they would return remains unknown.
He told Sky News: “I have no doubts that we will see the trips open on May 17th – that was based on a number of things that have happened, most of which have happened.
“The exact mechanism for releasing this, I think, remains to be seen and I would expect the government to act quickly enough to be able to tell us how we can unblock it.
“And in particular how we are going to get aviation back up and running as quickly as possible and help airports manage the processes related to the return of people.”
It is feared that the majority of Europe will be excluded from the ‘green’ list due to the cases of Covid and a slow rollout of the vaccine, which could leave only Malta, Gibraltar and Portugal as a destination without quarantine.
However, other experts, including easyJet boss Johan Lundgren, said he believed most of Europe could open by next month.
The holidays during the peak summer months of July and August are hopefully over for popular UK tourist destinations.
Mr French said that after booking a holiday in Croatia for himself this year: “I am quite confident when it comes time to return from school holidays, most of the popular Mediterranean destinations will be open.”
We’ve already rounded up some of the best overseas vacation deals this summer, including the Greek Islands.
Caution is advised when booking vacations as they may change in the short term, so families are advised to check terms and conditions before booking for Covid protection.
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Summer vacations abroad are still under threat because travel to countries on the “green list” could even be blocked by the foreign ministry.
Tim Alderslade, managing director of Airlines UK, which represents easyJet and British Airways, said The Times advice that the Foreign Office on essential travel “should only be in place for destinations where the risk to travelers is unacceptable.”
He added: “Green and orange countries should not be trapped in additional travel advisories as it would make it harder for customers and affect the number of people who will be able to travel overseas this summer.
“We need to see the alignment between Foreign Office advice and the traffic light system to bring clarity and transparency to consumers and operators.”