Holidays abroad: UK adds Malta and the Balearic Islands to travel green list

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IN FULL: The UK’s new travel green list 

All changes will come into effect from Wednesday, June 30 at 4am:

Anguila

Antigua and Barbuda 

Australia

Balearic Islands

Barbados

Bermuda

British Antarctic Territory

British Indian Ocean Territory

British Virgin Islands

Brunei

Cayman Islands

Dominica 

Falkland Islands

Faroe Islands

Gibraltar

Grenada 

Iceland

Israel and Jerusalem – to be moved to the Green Watch List

Madeira

Malta

Montserrat 

New Zealand

Pitcairn Islands 

South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands

Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha

Singapore

Turks and Caicos Islands  

The UK Government will move the following countries to the red list from June 30:

Dominican Republic 

Eritrea

Haiti

Mongolia

Tunisia

Uganda 

Britons have today been given a major boost to their hopes of a foreign getaway this summer, with 16 locations – including several top holiday hotspots – being added to the UK’s travel green list.

The hugely popular Balearic islands – Mallorca, Ibiza and Menorca – along with Madeira, Grenada, Barbados, and Bermuda have all been downgraded from amber to green, Grant Shapps revealed tonight. 

It means holidaymakers will be able to return from these countries without being forced into quarantine for 10 days when arriving back in the UK. 

And, in a further boost to wishful British holidaymakers, the Transport Secretary announced the Government will allow double-jabbed Britons to holiday in amber list countries later this summer without having to quarantine on their return. 

The welcome announcement of the new green list, which comes into effect from June 30, was made after both Scotland and Northern Ireland jumped the gun and revealed the additions before Mr Shapps.

Almost an hour after the Northern Ireland Assembly had revealed the updated green list, the Transport Secretary said in a Twitter post: ‘We’re adding Malta to the Government green list.

‘We’re also adding Madeira, the Balearic Islands, several UK Overseas Territories and Caribbean Islands (including Barbados) to the green list and green watchlist. 

‘Israel and Jerusalem are also added to the green watchlist.’

Announcing the Government’s plan to remove quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated Britons returning from amber list countries, he said: ‘Thanks to our successful vaccination programme, our intention is that later in the summer UK residents who are fully vaccinated will not have to isolate when travelling from amber list countries.’

Mr Shapps said more details about the double-vaccination holiday scheme will be set out next month. 

Meanwhile, six countries including Tunisia and Haiti will be put on the UK’s travel red list – meaning only UK citizens and those with residency status can travel from here and must stay in Government approved quarantine hotels for at least 10 days on their arrival. 

Israel and Jerusalem, which have been on the UK’s travel green list since its inception, will be added to the green watch list – which signals that a country might be moved to the amber list in the near future. 

The travel list changes are all due to come into place from June 30, at 4am.

Both Northern Ireland and Scotland had earlier jumped the gun on the announcement, revealing the 16 countries they were set to allow on their travel green list.  

Scotland’s Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero, Energy and Transport Michael Matheson said: From the outset we have said caution is required regarding international travel and people should think very carefully about travelling abroad as situations can suddenly change.

‘We continue to work closely with the other home nations and are cautiously supportive of exploring options for the easing of restrictions for fully vaccinated travellers arriving from countries on the amber list – but only if the clinical advice supports it and if systems are in place to ensure the wider safety of the Scottish population.’

It comes as France and Germany launched a joint push to make Britons quarantine on arrival in the EU today despite Boris Johnson hailing the ‘real opportunity’ of opening travel to double-jabbed holidaymakers.

The bid is to tighten the bloc’s defences against the Indian – or Delta – variant, with countries alarmed at the spike in infections caused by the mutation.

Angela Merkel urged all EU states to follow Germany’s lead by requiring travellers from the UK to quarantine.

However, Spain’s Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzalez Laya confirmed tonight that the country would snub Angela Merkel by continuing to let British tourists into the country without forcing them to quarantine.  

On another tense day of coronavirus developments: 

  • Covid-19 case rates in all regions of England are continuing to increase, according to the latest PHE surveillance report, with North-west England spiking to 238.9 cases per 100,000 people in the seven days to June 20 compared to 200.3 the previous week; 
  • Boris Johnson is struggling to contain an apparent Cabinet split today as ministers openly said they will ditch face masks the moment they are not compulsory – and suggested that should happen on July 19; 
  • Inflation is expected to rise above 3 per cent ‘for a temporary period’ this year as Britain’s economic recovery continues at pace, the Bank of England said today; 
  •  The first lockdown in March 2020 led to a drop in fertility rates and not the baby boom previously predicted, official figures have shown. 

Britons have today been given a major boost to their hopes of a foreign getaway this summer, with 16 locations – including several top holiday hotspots – being added to the UK’s travel green list. Pictured: Pretty Bay at Birzebbuga, Malta – which has been added to the list

The hugely popular Balearic islands - Mallorca, Ibiza and Menorca - along with Madeira, Grenada, Barbados (pictured), and Bermuda have all been downgraded from amber to green, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps revealed tonight

The hugely popular Balearic islands - Mallorca, Ibiza and Menorca - along with Madeira, Grenada, Barbados (pictured), and Bermuda have all been downgraded from amber to green, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps revealed tonight

The hugely popular Balearic islands – Mallorca, Ibiza and Menorca – along with Madeira, Grenada, Barbados (pictured), and Bermuda have all been downgraded from amber to green, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps revealed tonight

It comes as France and Germany launched a joint push to make Britons quarantine on arrival in the EU today despite Boris Johnson (pictured in a helicopter) hailing the 'real opportunity' of opening travel to double-jabbed holidaymakers

It comes as France and Germany launched a joint push to make Britons quarantine on arrival in the EU today despite Boris Johnson (pictured in a helicopter) hailing the 'real opportunity' of opening travel to double-jabbed holidaymakers

It comes as France and Germany launched a joint push to make Britons quarantine on arrival in the EU today despite Boris Johnson (pictured in a helicopter) hailing the ‘real opportunity’ of opening travel to double-jabbed holidaymakers

Mallorca (pictured: Beach El Arenal) is one of the top holiday hotspots to be put on the UK's green travel list today, by Grant Shapps

Mallorca (pictured: Beach El Arenal) is one of the top holiday hotspots to be put on the UK's green travel list today, by Grant Shapps

Mallorca (pictured: Beach El Arenal) is one of the top holiday hotspots to be put on the UK’s green travel list today, by Grant Shapps

Bermuda (pictured: Horseshoe Bay in Bermuda) is also being added to the list, with changes set to be made on June 30 at 4am

Bermuda (pictured: Horseshoe Bay in Bermuda) is also being added to the list, with changes set to be made on June 30 at 4am

Bermuda (pictured: Horseshoe Bay in Bermuda) is also being added to the list, with changes set to be made on June 30 at 4am

On a visit to Aldershot, Boris Johnson sidestepped on Angela Merkel's comments about making Britons quarantine but said the 'real opportunity' was to open up travel to people who have had two vaccination doses

On a visit to Aldershot, Boris Johnson sidestepped on Angela Merkel's comments about making Britons quarantine but said the 'real opportunity' was to open up travel to people who have had two vaccination doses

On a visit to Aldershot, Boris Johnson sidestepped on Angela Merkel’s comments about making Britons quarantine but said the ‘real opportunity’ was to open up travel to people who have had two vaccination doses

Angela Merkel (pictured with Emmanuel Macron at the G7 summit) has called on other European countries to force UK travellers to quarantine on arrival

Angela Merkel (pictured with Emmanuel Macron at the G7 summit) has called on other European countries to force UK travellers to quarantine on arrival

Angela Merkel (pictured with Emmanuel Macron at the G7 summit) has called on other European countries to force UK travellers to quarantine on arrival

She said at a press conference with her Panamanian counterpart Erika Mouynes after their meeting in Madrid: ‘At the moment we are maintaining the measures which enable British citizens to enter our territory.’ 

Spain’s defiant stance comes after the German president today said in summit at Brussels: ‘I will lobby for a more co-ordinated approach, particularly with regard to entries from regions where virus variants abound.’

French president Emmanuel Macron echoed her hard line, saying: ‘We must all be vigilant because the much-talked-about Delta variant is coming, which spreads much more rapidly than the other variants and affects people who are not vaccinated or who only have had one dose. 

‘For me, one of the issues of discussion is to be really taking co-ordinated decisions in terms of opening of borders to third countries and on recognising vaccines because at this stage we have to limit this to the vaccines that have been approved by the European medical authority.’

Environment Secretary George Eustice condemned the Franco-German stance. ‘I’m not sure that such an approach would be justified given the highly advanced stage we are currently at now in terms of vaccination, with 80 per cent having had one jab and now 60 per cent having had the second jab,’ he told LBC radio.

‘I don’t think such a move would be justified but obviously it’s for individual countries to make these judgments.’

Spain indicated it will fight any Franco-German attempt to get the rest of Europe to introduce quarantine for British holidaymakers. 

Meanwhile, on a visit to Aldershot, Mr Johnson dodged directly criticising Mrs Merkel’s comments.   

He said: ‘Let’s see where we get to with all this. I think that the real opportunity we all have now is to open up travel through the double jab.

‘We’ve got more than 60 per cent of our population have now had two jabs, 83 per cent have had one jab, we’re really getting through it now.

‘I’m not going to claim that this summer, for travel purposes, is going to be like any other summer. I don’t want to cast a pall over things but, as I said the other day, it will be different.’

Portuguese PM Antonio Costa admitted earlier today his country would bow down to whatever EU leaders decided ahead of a European Council meeting.

Asked by a Portuguese journalist if Lisbon would consider making Brits quarantine, he replied: ‘If that was the wish of the Council, yes. 

‘The United Kingdom shouldn’t have any different treatment.’ 

But Spain’s Tourism Minister Maria Reyes Maroto appeared to put her country on a collision course with the likes of Merkel and Macron by insisting before the UK’s new traffic light announcement: ‘Hopefully we can begin to receive British tourists soon.’

Speaking today at an event organised by leading Spanish newspaper El Pais, she said: ‘We don’t have any restrictions on tourists from the UK at the moment. 

Ministers say they will stop wearing masks as soon as they are not law 

Boris Johnson is struggling to contain an apparent Cabinet split today as ministers openly said they will ditch face masks the moment they are not compulsory – and suggested that should happen on July 19.

George Eustice dismissed the idea he would keep wearing face coverings when they are not required, saying: ‘I want to get back to normal.’

He also reiterated that the plan is for ‘all legal restrictions’ to lift in England on the so-called Covid ‘Freedom Day’ next month.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak gave a similar message as he said it is his ‘strong expectation’ that the unlocking will go ahead on schedule.  Asked at the Times CEO summit if he would stop wearing masks when they are not legally required, Mr Sunak said: ‘Yes, as soon as possible.’   

Meanwhile, Commons Leader Jacob Rees-Mogg ramped up expectations of curbs being fully removed as he told MPs that the description of July 19 as a ‘terminus point’ is likely to mean Covid certificates and other rules are dropped completely.  

However, in signs of tensions at the heart of government, Downing Street said the PM is only aiming to ‘get back as close to normal as is possible’ and ‘no final decisions have been taken’.

Nicola Sturgeon suggested earlier this week that the Scottish government could keep advising people to wear masks beyond August even if they are not mandatory.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has also warned that they should still be required on the Tube and buses as they give people ‘confidence’ they are safe.     

‘They’re the ones who are placing restrictions on people when they return.’ 

More than five million Brits visit Mallorca, Ibiza and Menorca in a normal year. 

Scientists had earlier signed off on declaring the Balearics safe enough for the green list, though there were fears that the Government could overrule the experts and keep them on the amber list.

Earlier, Tory MP Henry Smith, chairman of the Future of Aviation Group, said some of the countries should have already been on the green list.

He said: ‘Frankly, these destinations should already be on the green list along with many others.

‘It is a nonsense that people are not able to travel freely to countries that have lower rates of infection than we do.’ 

Tim Alderslade, chief executive of Airlines UK, said: ‘It’s now or never if we are to have any sort of summer season and the data shows this can be done safely and proportionately with many more countries being added to the list.

‘The future of our aviation industry and the hundreds of thousands of jobs it supports depends on it.’ 

Culture minister John Whittingdale hinted at positive news yesterday, saying: ‘Hopefully it will be possible to increase that number’ of countries on the green list. 

Green list status is only allocated to destinations that can show they have low Covid rates and no significant problems with variants of concern. 

They also have to show that they can monitor for new variants.

Government scientists advised last month that Malta could be added to the green list, only to be overruled by ministers led by Health Secretary Matt Hancock.

Latest figures suggest infection rates on the island are less than half those in the UK. 

Meanwhile, Berlin has banned travellers from Britain entering unless they are a German citizen, have residency rights or if there is an ‘urgent humanitarian reason’ like a family death. 

But those allowed in still have to register to get permission to visit and quarantine for two weeks with no option for early release after a negative test.

It comes after Italy reintroduced quarantine and testing requirements for all UK arrivals amid growing concerns in Europe about the spread of the Indian, or Delta, variant, now dominant in the UK.

Health minister Roberto Speranza said on Friday that Italy will require all travellers from Britain to quarantine for five days upon arrival.

A negative test is required at the end of the five-day period. America currently still bans UK tourists amid the surge in Delta cases. 

Dr Anthony Fauci, the US’s top infectious diseases expert, last week suggested that UK-US travel would only reopen in September as a result. 

Portugal, Spain and Greece are still allowing UK holidaymakers to visit with proof of a negative test and no quarantine. 

France is also allowing in fully vaccinated Britons with a negative test.

But European health officials say further action is needed to curb the spread of the Delta variant as it gains a hold on the Continent. 

This month it accounted for 70 per cent of sequenced cases in the greater Lisbon region of Portugal, more than 20 per cent in Italy and about 16 per cent in Belgium. 

It has also been detected in clusters in Germany, France and Spain. 

Let us fly again! Furious pilots march on Westminster 

Hundreds of travel workers including pilots and business owners marched on Westminster yesterday to demand that ministers ease restrictions threatening the industry.

They called on the Prime Minister to expand the quarantine-free travel green list at today’s review and make it easier for fully-vaccinated Britons to go on holiday. They warned huge numbers of jobs are at risk and called for the furlough scheme to be extended beyond September if current restrictions continue.

Hundreds of travel workers including pilots and business owners marched on Westminster yesterday to demand that ministers ease restrictions threatening the industry (pictured)

Hundreds of travel workers including pilots and business owners marched on Westminster yesterday to demand that ministers ease restrictions threatening the industry (pictured)

Hundreds of travel workers including pilots and business owners marched on Westminster yesterday to demand that ministers ease restrictions threatening the industry (pictured)

Pilots and cabin crew who have been grounded for over a year were joined by travel business owners who told of being on the brink.

Around 400 protesters gathered outside the Commons as part of a Travel Day Of Action. Demonstrations were also held outside Holyrood and Stormont to lobby the Scottish and Northern Ireland governments and at airports including Bristol and Manchester.

Senior Tory MPs joined the Westminster protest, including Sir Iain Duncan Smith, Sir Graham Brady, former minister Steve Baker and transport committee chairman Huw Merriman, who called on ministers to use the success of the vaccine rollout to reboot international travel. 

Richard Mann, 56, a pilot for travel giant Tui, said it was the biggest crisis the aviation industry had ever faced, stressing: ‘Everyone’s worried for their livelihoods.

‘If there was a clear reason for travel being shut down to the extent it is now, we would take that on the chin, but there just doesn’t seem to be.

‘Infection rates in the Balearic Islands and others are lower than we have here, so why are they shut off?

‘You see thousands packing themselves on to Bournemouth beach. Is that keeping people safe? It doesn’t make sense.’

Mark Tanzer, of travel industry group Abta, said some members had been forced to take new jobs as call centre workers and Amazon delivery drivers to make ends meet, adding: ‘It’s really heart-breaking.’

Sir Graham said ministers must ensure a ‘viable summer season’ is salvaged. He insisted: ‘There are over one million jobs at stake – as well as people’s freedom to see their family overseas or to go on holiday.’ Mr Merriman warned: ‘The sector is haemorrhaging jobs.’ 

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