BRITS will be able to travel to more places on holiday this summer with the green list set to be expanded, Grant Shapps declared today.
The transport secretary said he's pushing for extra destinations to be made quarantine-free as their vaccination rates catch up with the UK.
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His remarks raise the prospect of many favourite European haunts including Spain, France, Italy being opened up soon.
But he also refused three times to call Brits holidaying in amber list countries "irresponsible" – despite insisting nobody should do so.
Ministers have been panned over their mixed messaging on whether tourism to orange destinations – including most of the continent – is allowed.
Asked today if he's pushing for more countries to be turned green, Mr Shapps replied: "Yeah of course. That list should expand.
"Of course I expect the green list to expand, but we're doing this very cautiously.
"I don't think there's any reason not to expand the green list as we get other countries up to very high levels of vaccination."
He added: "Our message is very straightforward which is just a little bit of patience everyone, I know it's been an incredibly tough year.
"As other countries catch up with our world leading vaccination programme people will be able to travel.
"We are returning to a world which looks more normal, I hope."
Currently only 12 countries are on the green list, of which Portugal is the only major European holiday destination.
Many favourites with Brits are still stuck on amber, meaning travel to them is discouraged but not banned.
Mr Shapps said reports that almost 300,000 people will fly to those countries this week were wide of the mark.
But he also refused three times when pressed to call those who do holiday there "irresponsible".
He would only reply: "The guidance is not to. We've said that you should only go to our countries in exceptional circumstances.
"There are extreme circumstances where people will feel it's the right thing to do.
"Perhaps because they have a sick family member and some extreme situations where they'll travel in the orange category."
Boris Johnson has signalled a shift away from lockdown rules to personal responsibility as the country regains its freedom.
After a snail-paced start Europe's vaccination rollout has finally begun to kick into gear, raising hopes of a proper holiday season.
France, Italy, and Spain have both now vaccinated a third of their populations and given two doses to one in seven.
All three are slightly ahead of Portugal on jabs, but for now have much higher case rates which is why they haven't made the green list.
Some diplomats have also raised concerns that Europe may not want to open up to Brits because of fears over the Indian variant.
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