New green list
Foreign holidays back on, but Scots left waiting
Praia Da Rocha at Portimao, Algarve, Portugal (pic: Terry Murden)
Holidaymakers in England will be allowed to book trips to Portugal, Gibraltar, Israel and nine other destinations without quarantining on their return from 17 May it has been confirmed.
Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have not said when they will ease their overseas restrictions.
The UK Transport secretary Grant Shapps unveiled a 12-strong green list of nations where visits to and from England will not lead to automatic quarantine requirements.
But he warned that the countries would remain on a ‘watch list’ and reserved the right to take them off again if there is a spike in Covid cases.
The Scottish Passenger Agents’ Association urged the new First Minister to follow England, saying “the final meeting of the Scottish government Aviation Working Group was a constructive one, with positive news that the chief medical officers in Scotland were in agreement that that all four nations should move forward together.”
The 12 countries and territories now on the green list are:
- New Zealand
- Falkland Islands
- Faroe Islands
- South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
- St Helena, Tristan de Cunha, Ascension Island
The list will be reviewed every three weeks from reopening.
However, many green list countries will continue to place restrictions and quarantine measures on UK travellers – including Australia, New Zealand or Singapore – so passengers are encouraged to check all requirements and FCDO travel advice before they book any foreign travel.
Airlines announced additional flights though there was disappointment that more countries were not on the list.
Popular destinations such as Spain, France and Greece are not being added for the time being.
Border Force director general Paul Lincoln warned that wait times to enter the UK were likely to take longer than usual when leisure travel resumes
The SPAA remains concerned about the cost of testing. “Our position remains that the cost of testing – particularly the requirement for a PCR test for each traveller on return to the UK – is too high and that affordable testing in the form of antigen and lateral flow is needed.
“However, travel agents, who have had nothing to sell and no one to sell to for over a year now, will be in a position to advise and guide their clients to where and how they can travel.”
There was bad news for football fans as three more countries are included on the list of banned destinations from next Wednesday – Turkey, Maldives and Nepal.
Anyone visiting these countries would be refused entry back to the UK.
It means that Manchester City and Chelsea football fans will not be able to travel to Istanbul for the Champions League final.
The two Premier League sides are due to contest this year’s showpiece on 29 May with 4,000 tickets being allocated to supporters.
There are reports that talks are under way between the FA and UEFA to bring the match to the UK.