Tui UK boss claims ‘travelling abroad is safer than Tesco visit’

Tui’s UK boss has claimed Britons are “more at risk” from Covid-19 while shopping at Tesco supermarket than travelling abroad.

Speaking ahead of the traffic light system overhaul expected on Friday (September 17), Andrew Flintham (pictured) called for a “simplified system” and a reduced red list.

The travel industry “firmly” believes there should not be any testing restrictions, commented Flintham, adding that the UK has a 1.4% infection rate compared to 0.7% in green list countries.

He told Sky News: “You’re probably more at risk going to the Tesco supermarket than you are going international travelling.

“If you are vaccinated you should not be restricted because that’s the same thing that happens in your everyday life domestically.”

More: UK’s biggest tour operators expect ‘watered down’ traffic light changes

Turkey tipped for red list removal in Covid travel rules overhaul

He fired a warning to ministers that the industry “really cannot go through another winter” and they have to decide whether to open up international travel “like everyone else”.

He told the BBC: “We’re heading towards 17 to 18 months as an industry pretty much without revenue; we have a furlough scheme ending in September.”

Flintham revealed that Tui operated at 30% to 40% of its normal operating levels during August – the peak month of the summer season.

“In Europe, many of our operations are back up at 70 to 80% of their normal levels,” he said. “They’re going back to normal. It really is only the UK that is languishing in this incredibly difficult position.”

The 62-country red list could be halved today, meaning that most countries could be opened up for international travel. Holiday favourite Turkey is being tipped to be removed from the list.

Transport secretary Grant Shapps is also expected to scrap the amber list and therefore all countries would be given either red or green-list status.

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