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Travel stocks down even as seven locations added to green list

·3-min read
Photo by: KGC-254/STAR MAX/IPx 2021 8/3/21 Passengers arrive at Heathrow Airport Terminal in London, England, UK. Fully vaccinated travellers from the United States and much of Europe are now able to enter Britain without needing to self-isolate. Boris Johnson received a letter from airlines and tour operators calling to simplify rules and drop the amber travel list.
Complicated testing and quarantine regulations have made family travel less appealing. Photo: PA

Travel stocks took a tumble on Friday morning even as it was revealed that countries including Canada and Switzerland were moving from the UK’s "amber" travel list to "green". Popular holiday spots such as Spain and Italy are still on the amber list.

Among the FTSE 100’s (^FTSE) top fallers on Friday were British Airways parent IAG (IAG.L), down 0.5%, and Premier Inn owner Whitbread (WTB.L), down 0.5%.

Also on the list were jet maker Rolls Royce (RR.L), which lost almost 1%, and InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG.L), which ticked 0.4% lower.

Budget airlines Ryanair (RYA.L) and easyJet (EZJ.L) were down 0.7% and 1.8% respectively. Travel company Tui (TUI.L) lost 1.7%.

“The latest travel review may be disappointing news for some holidaymakers as popular holiday destinations like Turkey, Spain, Greece, France and Italy fail to make it to the green list before the end of the summer season," said Ian Strafford-Taylor, CEO at travel money specialist FairFX.

“This summer has shown holidays can happen but the constant chopping and changing of destinations coming on and off the green lists does little to provide the certainty customers want when booking a trip abroad."

Laura Hoy, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, added that "complicated testing and quarantine regulations have made family travel less appealing".

She said travel stocks may also be down because "the all-important summer travel season is drawing to a close".

Read more: Europe heads lower as traders await Powell's Jackson Hole speech

According to Hoy, this summer was a significant improvement on last year, but it wasn’t the best-case scenario that airlines and hotels had hoped for.

The UK government announced that from 30 August, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Switzerland and the Azores will be added to the green list, as it believes the risk that travel from these countries poses to public health in the UK is low.

This means travellers from these destinations will not have to quarantine regardless of whether they are fully vaccinated, although they still need to be tested before their departure and on day two of arrival back in the UK.

Meanwhile Thailand and Montenegro will be added to the red list,"reflecting the increased case rates in these countries and the higher risk that travel from these countries poses to UK public health".

Passengers arriving in the UK from red-list destinations will need to isolate for 10 days in a managed quarantine facility, which costs upwards of £2,000 per person. Some 60 countries are still on the red list.

Nations including Pakistan and Turkey had hoped that they would be removed from the red list, but this was not the case.

The UK has said it is taking a phased approach to restarting international travel and working with governments around the world, offering technical expertise and support to help them make any improvements needed for a change in traffic light rating.

Watch: Should I book a holiday in 2021?

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