Holidays to the Med WILL resume in time for school holidays, predicts Thomas Cook boss

TRIPS to Spain, Greece and Italy will return in time for the school holidays, the boss of Thomas Cook has predicted.

Families hoping to go away this year are yet to be given the go ahead for trips abroad with the earliest start date from May 17.

Due to be announced in the next few weeks is the UK's traffic light system, which will allow quarantine-free travel to low-risk countries, placed on a "green" list.

Thomas Cook chief executive Alan French has backed the traffic light system to allow holidays abroad to resume, although warned that how they will return remains unknown.

He told Sky News: "I'm confident that we will see travel opening up on 17 May – it was predicated on a number of things happening, most of which have happened.

"The exact mechanism of freeing that up, I think, remains to be seen and I would expect the government to be able to move quite quickly to be able to tell us how we will be able to unlock.

"And particularly how we'll get aviation back running as quickly as possible and help the airports deal with the processes around people returning."

It is feared that the majority of Europe could be left off the "green" list due to Covid cases and a slow vaccine rollout, which could leave just Malta, Gibraltar and Portugal as the quarantine-free destination.

However, other experts including easyJet boss Johan Lundgren said he thinks that most of Europe could open by next month.

Holidays during the peak summer holiday months of July and August are more hopefully for the popular British tourist destinations.

Mr French said that, having booked a holiday to Croatia for himself this year: "I'm pretty confident by the time certainly that the school holidays return, most of the popular destinations in the Med will be open."

We've already rounded up some of the best holiday deals abroad this summer, including to the Greek holiday islands.

Caution is advised when booking holidays as they could change at short notice, so families are warned to check the T&Cs before booking for Covid protection.

Summer holidays abroad are still under threat as travel to 'green list' countries could even be blocked by the Foreign Office.

Tim Alderslade, chief executive of Airlines UK, which represents easyJet and British Airways, told The Times that Foreign Office advice on essential travel "should only be in place for destinations where the risk to travellers is unacceptably high".

He added: "Green and amber countries should not be caught up in additional travel advisories as it will cause complexity for customers and impact how many people will be able to travel overseas this summer.

"We need to see alignment between the Foreign Office advice and the traffic light system to provide clarity and transparency to consumers and operators."

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