Foreign Office revises Covid advice for non-essential travel
Hopes that holidays to popular tourist destinations could soon restart have been boosted after the government scrapped advice that said people should avoid all but essential travel to areas including mainland Portugal and Spain’s Canary Islands.
The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) said the updates meant the level of Covid risk in some places was no longer “unacceptably high”, prompting speculation about which countries will be put on the “green list” when international travel is allowed again.
Ministers are putting the finishing touches to their traffic light system, that will grade countries green, amber or red, determining whether travellers returning from those countries need to quarantine at home, in a hotel or not at all. The final lists are expected to be signed off on Thursday and announced on Friday.
Covid passports have also been promised by the government to help travellers prove their vaccine status but on Tuesday, Downing Street hinted the repurposed NHS app may not be ready to carry them by 17 May.
The Foreign Office’s update this week appeared to give a glimpse at which countries could be on the green list – meaning people will not need to quarantine when they arrive in the UK from them. The advice against all but essential travel was lifted for countries including Malta and Israel, as well as several Greek islands, including Rhodes, Kos, Zakynthos, Corfu and Crete.
While the government said it would give seven days’ notice for allowing foreign trips again so the aviation and tourism industries can have some time to prepare, the transport secretary, Grant Shapps, could give them a few days’ extra notice by making the announcement on Friday, when the green list should be unveiled, instead of next Monday.
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