CONFUSION over holidays deepened this morning as ministers warned travellers against flying to most countries in the world.
Jet-set Brits have now been told to avoid amber list places such as France, Spain and Greece – even though getaways there are allowed from today.
Cautious experts have also lined up to tell Brits not to book breaks full stop.
Hundreds are expected to head to such popular European destinations as the blanket ban on holidays was lifted for the first time this year.
Yesterday Health Secretary Matt Hancock threw holidays into a tailspin by urging people to avoid these countries “unless you have an absolutely compelling reason”.
And this morning another Cabinet Minister doubled down on this advice in a crushing blow for those who have already booked trips.
Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng told Sky News: “People are allowed to do things, but it doesn’t mean everybody should be going away at the same time.”
He added: “The Health Secretary said he wouldn’t be recommending people travelling to amber list countries.
“He is someone who is very on top of the risks and I think his advice is probably the one I would suggest people follow.”
Twelve countries including Portugal are on the Government’s green list where travellers need not self-isolate on their return.
Some forty-three Covid-ravaged nations are on the red list where arrivals must undergo quarantine in hotels for 10 days.
Everywhere else is on the amber list, where people have to self-isolate on their return but can be released with a negative test.
Holiday firms are still flying to amber list destinations with dozens of planes scheduled to jet off today.
Expert Sir Jeremy Farrar, director of The Wellcome Trust charity, warned there “is a risk” the super-infectious Indian variant could be transmitted by people travelling out of the UK.
He told the BBC: “I think travel should still be very cautious and only when absolutely essential.”
But travel bosses are urging the Government to expand the green list to most of Europe.
EasyJet chief executive Johan Lundgren said: “I am optimistic about (summer holidays later this year) because the latest data that is available means that most of Europe could actually go on to that green list of destinations, and I urge the Government to look at and exercise that data.”
Holidaymakers were already descending on airports early this morning brandishing their negative PCR tests.
Yet Border Force officials said they are still handing down 1,000 fines a day for those who don’t have the right paperwork.