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Gloucestershire Business News

Gloucestershire travel agent says Covid travel rules lack clarity

A Gloucestershire travel agent has criticised the Government for 'a lack of clarity' over travel rules, as Portugal is taken off the Covid 'green list'.

Wendy Walker, director of Wotton Travel, said: "It's been nearly two years of uncertainty for the industry. It's been absolutely devastating.

"We just need more clarity and more transparency on the data that is being used to make these decisions."

Earlier this week Portugal was moved from the travel 'green list' to 'amber'.

This means UK tourists should not visit the country and those returning must isolate for ten days.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps blamed rising cases and a Covid mutation in Portugal. Families now face punishing additional costs to return early.

The boss of Heathrow Airport has warned the sector faces "another lost summer".

Wendy said: "Travel agents rely on the small amount of commission they get on selling holidays and if they haven't got that bread and butter the business will starve.

"These days the most important piece of equipment for the travel industry, it seems, is a crystal ball."

She said her company was fortunate in having a strong business travel side to keep them afloat but she said the leisure side was 'just dire'.

A big name in the travel sector in the southwest - Thorntons - based just south of Bristol - went out of business in September after eighty years of trading.

Wendy is hoping that the Spanish Balearic Islands, the Canaries and the Greek Islands are going to be available for the family summer holidays.

She also said that people are booking for later in the year or deciding to spend more money on a holiday for next year.

She added: "Something has to give. We have to live with this disease and learn to adapt to it."

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