Angry travel bosses have criticised the Government’s "overly cautious" quarantine-free green travel list and demanded that more countries be added.

As it stands, only 12 international holiday destinations have been given the green light from May 17, including Portugal, Gibraltar and Israel.

But some countries on the list, which also includes Australia, New Zealand and Singapore, are still not accepting British holidaymakers without the need to quarantine.

From May 17, people returning to England from a green destination will not be required to self-isolate and are only required to take one post-arrival coronavirus test.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said the removal of the ban on international leisure travel is "necessarily cautious".

Travel industry leaders, however, warned that it could "delay the industry's recovery" after the pandemic.

Critics have hit out at the number of destinations on the list, and have called for the Greek islands, the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands to be added.

Virgin Atlantic called for the US to be added to the green list, and EasyJet boss John Lundgren said the decision to put so few European countries on the list was "simply not justified by the data or science".

The stark warnings from travel bosses come after Border Force director Paul Lincoln warned travellers they should expect waiting times roughly 15 times longer at UK borders.

"There is no reason for the US to be absent from the green list," a Virgin Atlantic spokesman told MailOnline.

"This overly cautious approach fails to reap the benefits of the UK's successful vaccination programme."

The spokesman added: "While transatlantic links with the US, our largest trading partner, are restricted, £23 million in economic value is lost each day, which is why a transatlantic travel corridor is vital to deliver a much-needed boost to economic recovery."

EasyJet boss Johan Lundgren said: "The decision to put so few European countries into the green tier is simply not justified by the data or the science and is inconsistent with the approach to reopen the domestic economy.

"So, we call on Government to provide transparency on decision-making and clarity on when we can expect other European countries to join the green list so that consumers and airlines alike can plan for this summer."

The announcement of the green list countries also prompted prices for a return ticket from London Heathrow to Portuguese capital Lisbon to soar from £264 before the announcement to £332 afterwards.

British Airways said it would be laying on additional flights to Portugal following the announcement.

Andrew Flintham, managing director of Tui UK, said: "These destinations have always been firm favourites for Brits, so it's no surprise demand has increased following speculation they could be available from May 17 without the need to quarantine on return.

"We own every element of the holiday programme, so are uniquely placed to respond to customer demand and add additional holidays to the most popular hotspots.

"We've also introduced new subsidised testing packages, which start from just £20 for green list destinations to help our customers get away for their long-awaited holiday."

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