THE chief executive of Ryanair has blasted the "confusing" green travel list – as Cyprus, Greece and the Canary Islands have been left off despite their low rates of Covid cases.
Ibiza, Majorca, Malta and some Caribbean islands were among 16 places added to the green list last night.
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All 16 green list additions except Malta are on a "watch list" which means they could revert to amber.
Ryanair chief executive Michael O'Leary said the green list changes were a "step in the right direction" but they "created more confusion".
He told Sky News: "Why hasn't Cyprus been added, why haven't the Greek islands been added, why haven't the Canary Islands been added, when their Covid case rates are as low as they are in Malta and the Balearics?"
Mr O'Leary added that Transport Secretary Grant Shapps is "sowing more confusion – trying to do the right thing but making a mess of it".
Covid cases in Cyprus have slightly increased in the past few days, with 175 cases recorded yesterday. There have been 74,174 total cases, with 2,015 new cases being recorded in the last 30 days.
The country's last Covid death was on June 14, and there have been 14 fatalities this month for a total of 374 since the pandemic began.
Greece's cases are trending downwards, going from 1,928 new cases on May 28 to 454 yesterday, with 15 deaths recorded in the past 24 hours compared to 41 at the end of May.
The Canary Islands had 213 new cases yesterday, for a total of 59,883. Authorities recorded zero deaths yesterday, and there have been 787 in total.
Meanwhile Malta has averaged less than two new cases a day for the past week, with three recorded yesterday and none the day before that.
There have been 30,598 total cases in Malta since Covid outbreak began – however just 82 have been recorded in the past 30 days.
The latest statistics for the Balearic Islands were recorded at the start of the month, and show there was an average of 34 daily new cases during the last week of May. There have been 60,502 total cases recorded with 839 deaths.
From next Wednesday at 4am, passengers will be able jet back from the Balearics without hunkering down at home on return.
It opens up holidays to the immensely popular Spanish islands including Majorca, Menorca, Ibiza and Formenta.
And stunning Caribbean hot spots like Grenada, Barbados, Bermuda and Antigua have also gone green.
But Jamaica stays amber, and package hols destination the Dominican Republic is one of six countries moved to the red list.
The announcement has been welcomed by cash-starved airlines, travel companies and holidaymakers longing for a post-pandemic retreat after months in lockdown.
However, Grant Shapps admitted almost all the new green list countries are on the brink of turning amber again.
He refused to say three times whether he would personally book a holiday to one of the destinations being opened up.
And he admitted places like the Balearics and Madeira that are now on the green "watch list" have "marginal" figures and could soon be be downgraded.
COUNTRIES ON THE GREEN LIST
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Balearic Islands
- British Antarctic Territory
- British Indian Ocean Territory
- British Virgin Islands
- Cayman Islands
- Falkland Islands
- Faroe Islands
- Israel and Jerusalem
- New Zealand
- Pitcairn Islands
- South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
- Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha
- Turks and Caicos Islands
Mr Shapps said sun seekers should be aware that "things might change quickly" and make sure they have full insurance before booking a trip abroad.
And he suggested only those who have "flexibility" in their summer plans should go ahead and plan a foreign holiday this summer.
Of the 16 new green countries announced last night only Malta isn't on the "watch list" of destinations at risk of imminent downgrading.
Pressed on whether the others could quickly turn amber again, he said: "Of course we'll try not to do that.
"Hopefully, we'll be able to get through to the next review in three weeks' time before meeting to make any of those decisions.
"But be aware we can see that the situation is fast changing, we want to alert people. There are some concerns in these particular locations.
"And therefore be aware that when you book things may have to change, they may have to change at short notice."
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