Holidays mapped: Which countries are opening borders to UK tourists? Greece joins the list

Travel: Grant Shapps issues warning on booking holidays

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More holiday destinations have been given the green light for the coming weeks as Britain continues its lockdown easing plan. Greece is the latest place to be added to the list of travel destinations to welcome back British tourists. Holiday bookings began to surge once Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced his roadmap out of lockdown.

Holidays have been off the cards for Britons for almost a year since lockdown began last March.

Now the country is in the midst of its vaccination programme which has been hailed as the key to returning to normal.

This week, the first step in Boris Johnson’s four-step lockdown easing roadmap began with the reopening of schools and allowing two people from different households to meet in public spaces for recreation.

Holidays however are still off the cards for many for the time being.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps today revealed he is “hopeful” travel abroad will be possible from May 17.

Speaking to BBC Breakfast, Mr Shapps said: “We know you won’t be able to travel until May 17.

“I would say that it makes sense to see how the course of the pandemic unlock proceeds.

“I am hopeful but, as with everything to do with this virus, you can’t say for certain.

“There are a lot of issues that we need to work around but I am working with international partners, both governments and organisations, to try to make it happen.

“We can’t provide cast-iron guarantees on it.”

Which countries are opening their borders to UK tourists?

On Wednesday, Greece announced it will open its doors to holidaymakers by May 14.

Britons are currently banned from holidaying abroad but are only permitted to undertake international travel due to one of the outlined essential reasons including for work, education or medical need.

But there are hopes international travel will be open for Britons from May 17, although many experts do not believe this is likely until June 21.

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These countries are opening their borders to the UK on the following dates:

  • Seychelles: March 25
  • Wales: April 4
  • Cyprus: May 1
  • Greece: May 14
  • Portugal: May 17
  • England-wide: May 17.

Seychelles will open its borders to tourists on March 25 without a mandatory quarantine or vaccination required.

Travellers will need to show a negative Covid test to enter the island nation within 72 hours of departure.

Since the pandemic began, there have been a total of 3,032 confirmed coronavirus cases and 15 Covid-related deaths.

The Easter weekend is currently the target date for reopening of tourism businesses in Wales.

Travelling in Wales is only permitted for essential reasons, with all international travel banned.

The Cypriot Government last week announced Britons who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can enter the country without restrictions from May 1.

British visitors will not be required to provide evidence of a negative test or quarantine if they have received both doses of the vaccine, with the second dose given at least seven days before travelling.

Another country due to welcome British tourists soon is Greece.

Greece will allow British tourists back into the country from mid-May whether they have had the vaccine or not.

Anyone entering Greece needs to show a negative result from a PCR test for Covid that has been done within 72 hours prior to arrival.

Speaking at the International Tourism Fair ITB Berlin on March 9, Haris Theocharis said that the country was “more than optimistic” and “ready” to receive visitors.

Portugal has revealed visitors from the UK will be allowed to travel to the country if they have attested negative or are “immune”.

In England, domestic holidays are due to begin again on May 17, with all hotels and other accommodation types to reopen from then.

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