The head of the low-cost airline easyJet said he expected “almost all” of the major European countries to be on the government’s “green” list when overseas vacation travel is allowed to resume.
The airline and its tour operator recently announced that they intend to fly to many European destinations from Birmingham Airport next month after announcing a major expansion to the international hub.
It has since committed to operating from May 17, despite uncertainty over the UK government’s quarantine rules.
Chief Executive Officer Johan Lundgren said, “We would expect that if the government continued the approach they referred to regarding the test regime, almost all major European countries would expect that by the time the trip reopens, most of the countries in Europe should be in this category . “
He added, “If the PCR test and the lateral flow test had to be done for ‘green’ countries, I could not see that there would be many countries in Europe that would not fall into the ‘green’ category .
Mr Lundgren said he expected destinations like France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece, Croatia, Cyprus and Turkey to be on the government’s “green list” by May 17th.
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“I wouldn’t see any reason why you wouldn’t have the majority of European countries in there. We strongly believe that the ‘green’ category shouldn’t need any testing at all as it is classified as low risk.
“If a PCR and a lateral flow test are required there by May 17th and the rollout of the vaccination program, which is apparently making itself felt across Europe, is difficult to see, I would have difficulty seeing this – be it because by then something has happened – that there would be many countries that would not fall into this “green” category.
“But as I said, that decision rests with the government, and we urge them to specify shortly what these countries will look like.”
The easyJet Boss added, “It is important that the government publish this list as soon as possible as this is the main question for most of our customers right now.
“They want to know if the country is the most popular destination for them in the“ green ”category to go on vacation or to visit friends and family across Europe.
“And of course there will be a big difference if you are in the ‘green’ category compared to ‘amber’ or ‘red’.”