Many locked-down Brits have been dying to know if their summer holiday plans can go ahead amidst the chaos of coronavirus. Overseas holidays are expected to be able to recommence from July 6, with so-called air bridges being created with partner countries. However, Greece has already announced it has extended its ban on travellers coming from the UK.
The long awaited full list of countries which will be exempt from the quarantine from July 10 has now been published by the Government.
The list of “travel corridor” countries, or ‘air bridges’, includes popular European destinations such as Germany, Italy and Spain, as well as further afield locations including New Zealand, Vietnam and South Korea.
Greece is also on the list, despite Grant Shapps saying it would not be.
However, the US and China are among those not to appear. Portugal is also not on the list, which you can read in full below.
The Government is expected to introduce a traffic light system that will classify countries depending on the prevalence of coronavirus.
‘Green’ will mean they are safer than the UK, ‘amber’ meaning less safe, and ‘red’ will mean arrivals will still need to self isolate on return from that country.
At the same time, the current Foreign Office travel warning against all but essential international travel will be lifted for countries deemed safe.
Greece was expected to be part of the list, however the Greek Government has announced it will not be allowing travellers from the UK until July 15 at the earliest.
Portugal was also expecting to be on the list but as the country currently has a higher rate of infections than the UK, it has been left off for the time being.
The list of permitted destinations will remain in flux if necessary, with what is described as a “strict handbrake mechanism”, meaning any sudden outbreak of coronavirus in certain countries – or even in particular parts of a country – could require travellers to quarantine for two weeks upon returning to the UK.
The initial list of safe countries has been drawn up by the Government’s Joint Biosecurity Centre, working with Public Health England, with nations assessed on the risk from COVID-19, the trajectory of the virus’s spread, and an assessment of the reliability of data.
“Our new risk-assessment system will enable us to carefully open a number of safe travel routes around the world – giving people the opportunity for a summer holiday abroad and boosting the UK economy through tourism and business.
“But we will not hesitate to put on the brakes if any risks re-emerge, and this system will enable us to take swift action to reintroduce self-isolation measures if new outbreaks occur overseas.”
The changes also depend on all four UK nations agreeing to the measures, with concern reported from within the Scottish and Welsh Governments about a lack of consultation around the nationwide policy.
A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “No final decisions, including on the possibility of amending or adding to the exemptions, have been made and we await confirmation of a planned four-nation ministerial meeting ahead of any announcement being made.”