BRITAIN’S travel clampdown will end on May 17 – meaning holidays can finally resume.
Would-be holidaymakers desperate for a sunshine break will be able to travel abroad in 10 days time – although the list of countries open for travel is very short.
🔵 Read our coronavirus and green list announcement live blog for the latest updates
Holidays abroad are back on – but Brits will have to shun former hotspots, including Spain, for some weeks to comeCredit: Alamy
Bookings for Portugal and Iceland are set to surge as millions dream of a break in the sunshineCredit: w8media
Portugal, Israel, Iceland, Gibraltar and Singapore are among the countries on the 12-strong ‘green list’, where a quarantine following the return to the UK isn’t needed.
New Zealand and Australia are also on the list. However, both have their own entry requirements and are unlikely to let in tourists at the moment.
France, Greece and Spain are NOT yet on the green list, meaning Brits will have to wait at least another three weeks to find if they can go on holiday there this summer.
Brits are advised not to book anywhere on the amber list, just in case the situation worsens.
And tourists have been warned countries can swiftly be added to the red list if necessary – meaning a ten-day quarantine in a Government-approved hotel, at a cost of £1,750 per adult, is needed.
Turkey, the Maldives and Nepal are the latest countries to be added to the strictest list.
Announcing tonight that holidays are back on – albeit to a very specific list of countries – Mr Shapps said Brits have made “enormous progress tackling the pandemic“.
“That progress has been very hard-won – it’s been won by the speed and success of the vaccination programme, the scale of testing, and the sheer sacrifice of the British public,” he said.
Brits heading away will find their destinations limited by a traffic light system
“But I have to be straight with you.
“Our success in combating Covid here, with two-thirds of adults now vaccinated, is not yet replicated in many places abroad.”
And while some tourism hotspots won’t yet open, Mr Shapps said there are still hopes for traditional summer holidays.
“More traditional tourist destinations will be unlocked, but we have to turn the key slowly,” he said.
And he warned that any country can swiftly be added to the red list if necessary.
Countries on the UK’s green list
Only a handful of countries are available – and some, like Australia and New Zealand, are unlikely to welcome Brits yet
- Falkland Islands
- Faroe Islands
- Israel and Jerusalem
- New Zealand
- Portugal, including the Azores and Madeira
- South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands
- St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha
“If we have any concerns about an upswing in cases, or new identified variants, we will not hesitate to act fast,” he said.
“It is up to you to track thoroughly before travelling.”
Meanwhile, he urged those who are planning breaks abroad to expect long waits in airports.
“We do expect longer delays at airports,” he said.
Paul Lincoln, director general of Border Force, said: “Unfortunately, we are not back to normality yet.”
He added: “We still need to be cautious.
“There will continue to be additional health checks for every person crossing the border and inevitably that will mean it takes longer.”
The UK’s ‘green list’ is short – but it does include Brit hotspot Portugal