Travel news – live: Balearics, Malta and Madeira join green list as Spain tightens entry restrictions

The latest traffic light changes have come into effect, with Madeira, the Balearics and Malta joining the green list as of 4am on 30 June.

It means UK arrivals from these territories won’t be required to isolate, but they will need to take a day two PCR test.

Six countries including Tunisia and the Dominican Republic have also joined the red list today, which mandates 11 nights of hotel quarantine. The 56-country-strong list includes holiday hotspots the UAE and Turkey.

The traffic light changes come as European holiday nations are tightening travel curbs on British arrivals.

From today, Malta will only accept fully vaccinated Britons, which applies to everybody aged 12 and above. Portugal, meanwhile, demands quarantine from unvaccinated UK arrivals.

From Friday, Spain will require a negative PCR test taken with 48 hours from all UK arrivals who haven’t completed a full course of vaccination.


Yet more clarification on entry restrictions for Spain

Tighter entry restrictions for UK arrivals come into force from midnight Friday in Spain, following six weeks of test-free travel.

All unvaccinated Britons aged 12 and above must present a negative Covid test (PCR, TMA, LAMP or NEAR) taken within the 48 hours before arrival.

Antigen tests will not be accepted.

Only the Balearic islands are on the “green list” for travel currently; while mainland Spain and the Canaries are on the amber list, mandating 10 days of self-isolation on return and two PCR tests.

Here’s everything you need to know about travel to Spain this summer:

Cathy Adams30 June 2021 17:37


‘Short-sighted’ of government not to exempt travel companies from rise in furlough and business rate costs, says Abta

The travel industry body, Abta, has accused the government of being “short-sighted” by not exempting travel companies from the increase in furlough and business rate costs.

Its figures shows that as many as 195,000 jobs in the travel industry have been lost or are at risk since the start of the pandemic.

Abta was one industry group involved in the Travel Day of Action last week, which demanded more help for the zapped travel industry.

Mark Tanzer, Abta chief executive, said: “The pressure to meet these payments will ultimately cost people their jobs and may force some businesses to close for good. Travel agents and tour operators have barely earned anything over the last 18 months – so there is no money in the bank to cover these costs.

“We urge government to seriously rethink their approach and ask them to look at providing tailored grant support for these companies, recognising the recovery for the international travel industry will be much slower than the rest of the UK economy.”

Cathy Adams30 June 2021 17:02


First UK music act arrives in France

In maybe the strangest travel story today, travel correspondent Simon Calder has the download on what is likely the first UK musical act to tour abroad since the pandemic and Brexit imposed various travel restrictions.

They’ve just arrived in France… and gone straight into quarantine.

Simon has the full report here:

Cathy Adams30 June 2021 16:56


Cuba infections spike

Cuba’s official international news service, Granma, has tweeted that the island has suffered “the highest number for a single day since the beginning of the pandemic”. It reports more than 3,800 new positive Covid cases.

Relative to Cuba’s population, the rate is close to that in the UK.

Infection levels have increased around 10-fold in two weeks. Until recently Cuba was cited as a possible candidate for the UK’s green list.

Simon Calder30 June 2021 16:24


Pound remains strong against euro

As the latest green list changes come into effect and holidaymakers fly off to sunnier climes, there’s good news for their wallets too: the pound is stronger than it was last year.

Ian Strafford-Taylor, CEO at travel money specialist FairFX said: “As Malta, Madeira and the Balearic Islands move to the green list today, the pound remains consistent and is currently 5.5% higher against the euro compared to this time last year, when travel corridors were preparing to re-open to British tourists following the first national lockdown.

“For those looking to travel overseas to the latest green listed destinations, locking in rates while the pound is strong is one of the best ways for holidaymakers to maximise their holiday money and get more bang for their buck.”

Cathy Adams30 June 2021 16:06


Sign up to Simon Calder’s travel newsletter

The Independent’s long-time travel correspondent Simon Calder writes his must-read newsletter each week, untangling the big stories of the week that affect your holiday plans.

To sign up, click here and scroll down to Simon Calder’s Travel Week.


Indonesian airline starts jabbing tourists

Garuda, the national carrier of Indonesia, has today started giving free Covid jabs to holidaymakers to try to reduce the impact of the virus in one of Asia’s worst-affected countries.

About 20 passengers took advantage of the free vaccines at Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta International airport, which has the capacity to vaccinate 200 domestic travellers per day.

“This vaccine gives me confidence but still, we have to obey health protocol because we’re not 100 per cent immune. But at least it gives a sense of calm,” said Cecep Taufiqurohman, 32, after receiving his vaccine.

The airline is offering the Sinovac vaccine in the roll-out. Only 13 million of the country’s more than 270 million people fully vaccinated since January, and the country posted a record number of coronavirus infections today.

Additional reporting by agencies

Cathy Adams30 June 2021 14:57


How to get the cheapest PCR tests for travel

Wherever your travel plans take you this summer, chances are a PCR test will be a part of them – either before you fly, or when you land back in the UK.

The average price hovers around £120, but The Independent travel team has dug out cheaper deals than that.

Here’s how to find the best-priced PCR tests on the market.

Cathy Adams30 June 2021 14:23


EasyJet launches Liverpool-Malta route

As Malta introduces ever more draconian rules on British visitors, easyJet has announced a new route to the Mediterranean nation from Liverpool.

From 25 July, Britain’s biggest budget airline will fly twice a week – on Tuesdays and Sundays – from the Merseyside airport to Malta.

The island is the latest addition to the UK’s quarantine-free “green list,” though the move coincided with Malta moving the United Kingdom to its red list.

Only fully vaccinated travellers with a letter of confirmation from the NHS are allowed to visit, along with unvaccinated under-12s.

Spain’s Balearic Islands and Madeira have been placed on the “green watchlist,” indicating quarantine may be reimposed at any time.

Ali Gayward, easyJet’s UK country manager, said: “We really want to get back to what we do best and connect people across Europe. So we welcome these additions to the green list and in response we have put even more seats on sale to new and existing routes to green destinations.

“This includes a brand-new route from Liverpool to Malta, meaning we now have over million seats operating to current European Green list destinations this summer.”

Simon Calder30 June 2021 13:22


The European holiday guide

The rules for European travel are changing at head-spinning speed and it can be difficult to keep on top of where you can go and what the restrictions are, both on the way there, and upon your return to the UK.

Here’s what you need to know about holidaying in Europe this summer, with rules for Spain, France, Portugal and Greece explained:

Cathy Adams30 June 2021 12:31


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