Fully jabbed Britons may not have to quarantine when they return home from amber destinations this summer, according to reports.
Ministers are working on plans to allow quarantine-free holidays this summer.
Meanwhile, Malta and the Balearic islands of Spain are slated for the green list, which is due to be updated tomorrow.
There are currently 11 countries on the green list, most inaccessible to British tourists.
It comes as the travel industry lobbies the government in a Travel Day of Action, putting pressure on the government to support the beleaguered travel industry.
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Cathy Adams23 June 2021 13:06
Airlines join legal action
More airlines on Wednesday joined legal action against the Britain over its travel curbs, adding to pressure on the government to relax restrictions that are putting businesses and jobs on the line.
EasyJet and tour group TUI said they had joined the action led by Manchester Airports Group (MAG) aimed at challenging the government for an alleged lack of transparency over travel rules.
The two airlines join the country’s other biggest travel firms Ryanair, British Airways-owner IAG and Virgin Atlantic as interested parties in the case.
A spokesman for MAG, the claimant in the case, said the court had accepted its application for an expedited hearing and the government, specifically the transport minister and the health minister, had until Monday to file a defence.
“We cannot comment on legal proceedings,” said a government spokesperson.
A date for a hearing is likely to be set either later next week or for the following the week, added the spokesperson.
The travel industry remains effectively closed as rules require 10 days quarantine for arrivals from all European Union countries and the United States. Government advice also warns against travelling to most countries.
British pilots, cabin crew, travel agents and other workers are urging politicians to reopen foreign routes with protests and demonstrations across the country on Wednesday.
The government said in an emailed response its travel rules sought to balance the reopening of international travel with safeguarding public health and protecting the country’s vaccine programme.
No quarantine for double jabbed tourists this summer?
Government ministers have confirmed they are “working on” plans to facilitate holidays in “amber list” countries.
The move would see the mandatory 10-day quarantine for travellers upon their return to the UK scrapped in favour of testing – but only for those who are fully vaccinated.
He claimed he is “in favour of moving forward in this area”, and swapping the current quarantine restrictions for some sort of daily testing instead.
Read the full report here.
Cathy Adams23 June 2021 12:49
What the loosening of restrictions for vaccinated travellers could mean for your holiday
The move, confirmed by the health secretary, would mean tourists and business travellers could visit amber destinations without having to self-isolate for 10 days on their return to the UK.
Matt Hancock said he is “in favour of moving forward in this area” and replacing quarantine with daily testing.
“This hasn’t been clinically advised yet – we’re working on it,” he told Sky News.
What could this relaxation of restrictions mean for you summer holiday?
Here’s everything you need to know.
Helen Coffey23 June 2021 12:19
More Brits feel safe to travel in next six months, says new poll
There has been a six-fold increase in the number of British travellers who would feel “safe” going on a beach holiday in the next six months, compared to how they felt last October.
Research from AllClear Travel Insurance found that 30 per cent of more than 2,000 British respondents would feel safe travelling, up from 5 per cent last autumn.
The insurer also found that southern Europe emerged as the top destination that British travellers would feel safest in within the next six months, despite the fact that almost all of Europe is graded “amber” by the UK government and requires 10 days of self-isolation.
Cathy Adams23 June 2021 12:11
Poland tightens curbs on British travellers
It’s not all good news for UK travellers today, as Poland tightens curbs on Britons.
British travellers to Poland must quarantine for seven days in a bid to try to curb the spread of the Delta variant, the country’s health ministry announced.
“The decisions made on quarantine for travellers arriving from Great Britain are intended to reduce the risk of transmission of the Delta coronavirus variant from the endangered area,” health minister Adam Niedzielski was quoted as saying by state news agency PAP, reports Reuters.
“We must take care of our citizens and their security.”
Cathy Adams23 June 2021 12:05
Pilots’ union Balpa comments
Commenting on Travel Day of Action, Brian Strutton, acting general secretary of the pilots’ union Balpa, said:
“The government has to decide if this summer it will make or break the UK travel industry. Pilots are meeting politicians across the UK today to urge them to put pressure on the government to act now and save not only the summer but the future of UK aviation and travel.
“With a robust and open approach to the data we should be able to use the science to open-up safe travel routes with the US and many European destinations, just as other European countries have done. This would give the travel industry and passengers a chance to make something the best of the summer and start to stem the decline. Extending the furlough scheme and direct support to airlines and airports would save jobs and companies as we head into the winter, so that we have a leisure and business travel industry ready to bounce back quickly post-pandemic.”
Cathy Adams23 June 2021 11:59
The full amber list
If the government does drop the requirement to self-isolate after visiting an amber country, which nations would they be?
As it stands currently, every territory in Europe bar Gibraltar and Iceland are rated amber. The US is also graded amber.
Cathy Adams23 June 2021 11:47
Independent travel businesses show support for Travel Day of Action
Speaking as part of the Travel Day of Action, Gary Lewis, chief executive of The Travel Network Group, which represents 1,200 independent travel businesses, said:
“Our industry employs over 221,000 people and contributes £37.1 billion to the economy but our calls for sector-specific financial support and clarity on the roadmap towards free international travel have not been met. Over the last 14 months we have seen our members’ revenues drop to a fraction of 2019 levels and a number of our members have sadly closed their doors for good.
“While much of the of the economy reopens, businesses in the outbound travel sector have been left out in the cold with a lack of financial support and ambiguity about a safe route to international travel. Alongside colleagues across the travel industry we’re asking the government to allow international travel to return safely in a risk-managed way, implementing the Global Travel Taskforce’s plan for a traffic-light system. This should see the green list expanding in line with the evidence and making restrictions more proportionate, whilst keeping a strong red list to guard against variants.
“We are also asking for a package of tailored financial support, including extension of the furlough scheme, recognising that the travel sector’s ability to trade and generate income is much slower than first anticipated and more gradual than for businesses in the domestic economy.
“Time is running out for UK travel businesses and we hope that the government will listen and respect the contribution we make to the UK economy.”
Cathy Adams23 June 2021 11:32
And what about the Greek islands?
Covid data expert Tim White has crunched the numbers for the Greek islands, and analysed the possibility of a handful of them being added to the green list tomorrow.
Here are the current 7-day infection rates/100k for the Greek islands:
His prediction is: “But #Corfu seems certain to me. I am also hopeful for #Chios #Kefalonia #Milos #Samos #Santorini #Sporades #Syros #Tinos #Zakynthos.”
Read his full thread below.
Cathy Adams23 June 2021 10:42