And travel companies were yesterday quick to express their dismay at the “constant rollercoaster” of alterations revealed by the concerning figures. They demanded simpler regulations after analysis found testing and quarantine rules for arrivals in England since March last year at a similar level of 50 changes in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The green, amber and red travel lists have been updated every three weeks since they were introduced in May.
And the list of quarantine-free travel corridors changed nearly every week while it existed between July 2020 and January 2021.
Many holidaymakers have been forced to cut trips short before tougher rules were introduced.
Mark Tanzer, boss of travel trade association Abta, said fears about the status of a destination being changed are “reducing the public’s confidence about taking an overseas break”.
He said “public health must come first” but urged the Government to be “much clearer about the data and rationale behind these decisions”.
Derek Jones, boss of luxury travel company Kuoni, said the rules have created “enormous challenges for holiday companies like ours”.
He added that customers are desperate to understand “the hoops they need to jump through”.
EasyJet boss Johan Lundgren said: “Now is the time for Government to simplify the rules around travel, make green truly green and restriction-free.
“Remove expensive and unnecessary testing requirements for the fully vaccinated travelling from amber countries, and put an end to this constant rollercoaster of changes.”
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps was among the thousands caught out last July, when Spain was removed from the corridors list after being on it for just 16 days. He had to travel home early from his family holiday to self-isolate.
A government spokesman insisted an “unprecedented package of support” has been given to the travel sector.
Traffic light lists will be updated again next week.