UK Covid travel advice changes as popular beach destinations are declared safe

Portugal, Israel and several Spanish and Greek islands among places no longer deemed high risk

Corfu is among the popular destinations which could now be inundated with sun-seeking Britons this summer. 
Corfu is among the popular destinations which could now be inundated with sun-seeking Britons this summer. 

Beach-loving Britons received welcome news on Tuesday as the UK government declared that Portugal, Israel and several Spanish and Greek islands no longer pose "unacceptably high" risks for tourists.

More reassurance came from Prof Neil Ferguson of Imperial College London who said there was "no risk" to British holidaymakers travelling abroad if Covid cases reached levels similarly low to those in the UK.

Rosa Ana Morilla Rodriguez, director general of tourism for the Balearic Islands, seized on the news on Tuesday and said that Britons would be welcome to visit as early as this month.

The change in government travel advice came a day after the EU announced the easing of travel restrictions by the end of May, and will add more intrigue to the UK's traffic-light system for travel.

The final green, amber and red lists are expected to be announced on Friday and will determine the quarantine and testing rules Britons must follow when international travel resumes on May 17.

While there is no guarantee that the change in advice will ensure the much-loved holiday destinations make it on to the UK's green list, it does guarantee those travelling to them will be insured.

It is also likely that tourists will soon be carrying Covid passports, an initiative backed on Tuesday at the Group of 20 forum.

Tourism ministers from some of the world's biggest economies threw their support behind efforts to safely revive the flagging travel sector.

The document will be linked to the EU's Digital Green Certificate and show that the bearer has been fully vaccinated, has immunity after recovery, or has recently tested negative.

UK Vaccines Minister Nadhm Zahawi said Britain was still working on its Covid certification system.

"The app is one part of the certification process, so it's very important people have the capability to demonstrate they’ve had a test," he told Sky News on Wednesday.

"The transport secretary is leading his G7 colleagues to agree the [travel] protocols for travel around the world."

More on travel

Covid vaccine passports: safeguard or ethical nightmare?

London’s Heathrow Airport boss predicts patchy return of international travel

EU members agree on plans for Covid-19 certificate to open up summer travel

Updated: May 5, 2021 06:40 PM

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