Travel: Expert says UK needs a ‘wide green list’
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Holidaymakers have been waiting with bated breath to see which country will make it onto the Government’s green list this summer. Since March, 2020, travel outside the UK has largely been limited to essential reasons only, including work, study and legal obligations. The green list means Brits will be able to holiday in the specified countries without having to quarantine on their way back home. Popular tourist destinations in Europe including Spain, France and Greece are all desperate to reopen their borders to travellers once more as a number of holiday hotspots rely on tourism for a large chunk of their income. Here’s what is known so far.
Brits will likely be allowed into Spain in June, as confirmed by the country’s tourism minister Fernando Valdes Verelst.
Spain hasn’t confirmed quarantine requirements for tourists, so it’s unlikely you’ll have to isolate when you get there.
However, the country is looking at Covid passports using digital technology in an effort to enable people in who’ve had the jab.
Spain’s situation its looking up, with just 110 infections per 100,000 people reported in the last seven days and 15million Spaniards understood to have had the vaccine.
Speculation suggests Spain will be placed on the green list, but nothing has been confirmed and there’s every chance it will be allocated amber instead.
British holidaymakers will be allowed to visit sunny Greece again from May 14, according tor travel minister Harry Theoharis.
People going to Greece won’t have to be fully vaccinated, but they will need to show evidence of a negative COVID-19 test taken before travelling.
Greece is unlikely to impose quarantine restrictions on travellers entering from abroad this summer, as long as the negative test is sufficient.
The country is, however, experiencing a third wave of the Covid crisis and reported 130 deaths in the last 24 hours – the most since the pandemic began.
Greek islands are currently on a mission to vaccinate everyone in the hopes of making it onto the Government’s green list and welcoming tourists this summer.
Last year’s travel corridor scheme saw travel allowed to Greek islands while mainland Greece was off limits, so it could be a similar scenario this year if Covid cases permit.
According to a leaked report from the French Government, British tourists will be able to go to France from June 9 as long as they’ve been fully vaccinated or have shown a negative Covid test.
The restrictions on travel in France are much more stringent than other European countries, and all travellers, including children aged 11 and above, will need to show a negative PCR Covid test result done less than 72 hours before departure.
Passengers arriving in France from the UK will have to self isolate for seven days on arrival before taking another PCR test, after which quarantine will end with a negative result.
France is beginning to ease restrictions of its latest lockdown, and from Monday, travelling further than six miles from your home is allowed again.
However, France’s infection rate is still one of the highest in mainland Europe with almost 6,000 Covid patients in intensive care as of Thursday last week.
In addition, the neighbouring country has been reporting an average of 21,716 new daily cases in the latest seven-day average.
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Portugal has previously revealed plans to reopen to British tourists on May 17, the same day restrictions are expected to be eased at home.
Travel restrictions and rules for Portugal haven’t yet been confirmed, but they will likely be similar to Spain and Greece in that holidaymakers will need to show a negative PCR test or evidence of Covid vaccination.
Case numbers in Portugal are slowing down and it’s currently at about three percent of its peak, with a daily average of 402 new infections.
Portugal is estimated to have administered more than 3.4million doses of the coronavirus vaccine so far.
Brits will likely be allowed into Italy from June, as confirmed by Foreign Minister Mario Draghi recently.
To go to Italy, you have to present the inline with a negative rapid antigenic or molecular swab Covid test no more than 48 hours before you enter.
No matter how you arrived in Italy, you will have to report to the local health authorities and quarantine for a period of five days.
You will also have to take a molecular or antigenic test at the end of the five days, which will only end with a negative result.
Most of Italy is now in a ‘yellow zone’, meaning restaurants and bars are able to reopen again, while most students have gone back to school and some outdoor events have been going ahead.
A nationwide curfew remains in place between 10pm and 5am, and masks and face coverings are compulsory in all indoor and outdoor public spaces.
Infections in Italy are on the rise, with 11,370 new cases reported every day on average, while 20.7million vaccine doses have been given in the country.
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