The Mail on Sunday today carries a report which states that ministers have been accused of "treating everybody like fools, idiots and children" over the travel traffic-lights system. One senior Conservative figure is quoted as saying that the traffic-lights system is "a disaster", while health secretary Matt Hancock is blamed for sabotaging half-term holiday plans.
The report notes the situation with Greek islands, where whole populations have been or are being vaccinated. Transport secretary Grant Shapps recently said that he was in favour of an "islands approach", as was adopted for a time last summer. Yet the government's green list has taken no account of this, leaving out not just Greek islands but all of the Balearics, where coronavirus incidence is the second lowest in Spain.
Travel industry bosses, such as easyJet CEO Johan Lundgren, have described the government's approach as being over-cautious and are urging an early revision for destinations such as Mallorca and the Balearics. In a report in Mallorca-based Hosteltur magazine on Friday, it was said that easyJet Holidays were anticipating a "boom" for the islands. This will now be on hold for a few weeks.
In Mallorca, where the UK government's announcement has naturally been met with disappointment, the Balearic tourism minister, Iago Negueruela, says that "it is certain that we are being penalised because London is looking at Spain as a whole". "There are various regions with infections above the national average and much higher than in the Balearics."
Although Negueruela adds that the government "has done its homework" in establishing a framework of safe conditions for holidaymakers, there are dissenting voices who blame the slowness of the vaccination campaign and a lack of diplomacy for the failure to be granted green list status.
The president of the Mallorca Hoteliers Federation, Maria Frontera, points to Mallorca being far off recovery by comparison with destinations where vaccination programmes are more advanced. Juan Manuel Ordinas of the Association of Small and Medium-Sized Hotels believes there has been a diplomatic failure by both the Balearic and Spanish governments, who have not been able to convince London to differentiate between the Balearics and the rest of Spain.
Last week, there were of course meetings with the British Ambassador, Hugh Elliott, at which Negueruela and President Armengol sought to make just this point.