AN OSWESTRY travel agent believes the government’s travel list has only been able to instil a small confidence in the industry for potential holiday-goers by a 'small amount'.

Roger Blake, of Liberty Travel in Cross Street, believes the new system – which came into effect on Monday – has not completely ironed out uncertainty for those who remain dubious about booking foreign holidays.

Twelve countries, including Portugal, Israel and New Zealand were put on a green travel list, meaning visitors to these countries will not have to quarantine upon their return to the UK.

However, those visiting countries on an amber list will have to quarantine for 10 days upon their return, while travel to countries on the red list is currently not permitted.

Mr Blake said the announcement of the list appeared to encourage some bookings, but not as many as the industry would have hoped for.

“There has been a small uptake in bookings,” he said. “The news created some interest and some bookings on the back of that, but it’s nothing like what we need yet.

“It’s small steps really. It hasn’t instilled confidence in the way we would have liked.

“People can see that putting the Falkland Islands and the Sandwich Islands on a list of 12 places is not really very inspiring ultimately.”

A considerable number of bookings have been made to Portugal, but some other destinations remain off-limit to UK residents, despite being on the green list.

Australia and New Zealand are both currently closed to tourists, despite being on the green list, while the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FDCO) is advising against all but essential travel to Israel, which also appears on the green list.

Mr Blake believes this causes further uncertainty for potential travellers.

He said: “I think people just want more confidence.

“I think going forward, regular communication is needed, as well as a promise from the government that they won’t change guidance at the drop of a hat.

“The fact that Portugal announced it wouldn’t be opening its borders until May 30, and then decided they would do it today, all just added to the uncertainty.

“At the moment, the Foreign Office is saying travel to the Canary Islands and some Greek islands is safe, and tour operators are still flying there; however, these places are on the government’s amber list.

“So, there’s no joint policy really.”

Mr Blake said the 10-day quarantine upon return to the UK is likely to discourage people from booking holidays to amber-listed countries for the time being but is unsure whether peoples' attitudes may change going forward.

He said: “We’ve had some bookings to amber countries, but nothing significant.

“I wonder if, as the summer goes on, people will want to go abroad and will just factor in the quarantine and travel anyway.”