A travel expert has warned against booking holidays to amber destinations.
Lloyd Figgins, a travel safety expert and Chairman of the Travel Risk and Incident Prevention Group (TRIP), told NationalWorld that he would “strongly advise” holidaymakers against visitng the likes of Spain, France, and Italy which all missed out on amber status.
His comments come as holidaymakers in England were told that just 12 holiday destinations had been assigned a green rating with transport minister Grant Shapps announcing the reopening of international travel for leisure on Friday evening.
Is it worth booking a holiday to an amber destination?
Mr Figgins told NationalWorld: “I would strongly advise against booking an Amber destination.”
He instead recommends waiting for destinations to switch from amber to green, which he anticipates will happen in the coming months.
"We expect Amber destinations to turn to green over the coming weeks and months, so it is best to wait until they turn green before booking,” he said. "If you do book an Amber destination you need to make sure your travel insurance and booking terms and conditions cover you if it remains Amber.”
He added: “I would advise waiting until Government position is clear on which countries are on the green list. It’s best to keep money in your bank than someone else’s and risk your holiday being cancelled. I think many people who got caught out last year will be far more cautious this time around.”
What should I look out for when booking a holiday
It’s not just a case of choosing a green destination and booking your holiday.
When booking a holiday Mr Figgins advises taking the following steps to increase the likelihood of a refund should circumstances change:
- Always book with a bonded travel operator
- Always look for ATOL protection
- Don’t book with anyone not ATOL protected
- Try and book with an ABTA travel agent/operator
He explains that in the event that your destination changes from green to amber you should be covered “if you book with and ATOL bonded tour operator”.
Will the traffic light system be similar to the travel corridor system?
Mr Figgins has suggested that holidaymakers will be given far greater warning on the changing status of countries.
Last year many holidaymakers were forced to cut holidays short with the government introducing quarantine requirements for countries that had previously been considered safe.
"I think this system is much more robust than the previous system and that the Government have learnt lessons from their mistakes last last,” said Figgins. “There may still be some movement but I expect it to be far less and with more notice than before.”
He added: “The Government have said it will give extended notice if a country is going to move from Green to Amber to avoid the issues that happened last time.”
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