THE Government has been accused of writing off this summer for holidaymakers and travel companies after its decision to move Portugal onto the amber list.

Portugal was one of the few holiday destinations on the green list, and its sudden change in status will be a terrible blow to all who had booked to go there in the hope of getting a safe, quarantine-free break.

The Government is in a very difficult position, torn between its instincts to give people the freedom to make their own decisions and by the need to protect the population from a variant that might defeat the vaccine.

People understand the Government’s difficulties; but what they don’t understand is the lack of clarity. The amber list is confusing enough, and yesterday’s decision, which came at a time when people were expecting places like the Balearics to be added to the green list rather than for Portugal to be removed, will add huge uncertainty to any plans.

Now there’s a new review, in three weeks time, but what people really need is daily information about trends, perhaps released on a website, so they can begin to understand what’s going on as they book ahead.

Or perhaps the Government should just be crystal clear with an unequivocal “stay at home” message so then it can concentrate on helping the travel industry to keep afloat. It is the uncertainty that is killing the hope of both holidaymakers and travel companies.