Britain will allow its citizens to resume international travel from May 17, but will limit the number of destinations open for quarantine-free holidays in a few countries. Transport Minister Grant Shaps said on Friday that Portugal, Israel, New Zealand, Australia and Singapore had entered the green list for travel in a system that would be reviewed every three weeks. Popular destinations such as France, Spain and Greece have not, so travel permits to these destinations are awaiting further review.
Airlines, holiday companies and tourist hotspots in southern Europe have been waiting for more than four months for the British, a wealthy tourist, to start traveling again, but they will have to wait a few more months for it to take off completely.
Spain, France, Italy and the United States were excluded from the list, the four countries most visited by residents of the UK in 2019, all in the amber category, which require quarantine upon return to the UK.
Despite the restrictions, allowing travel abroad is still a welcome boost for the sector and should boost bookings. The British have been banned from traveling abroad without good reason since the beginning of January, which is a blow to leisure travel as well as to families living in different countries.
Therefore, British Airways, EasyJet, Ryanair, TUI and others will likely wait until next month to reopen their doors widely to fix the financial situation of the emerging coronavirus.
They argued that Britain’s vaccination program, which bypassed the rest of Europe, should mean that the country could allow more travel sooner, but the European Union’s plans are still in progress.
On the same Friday, British Airways’ owner IAG asked the UK and US to open a travel lane due to high vaccination rates.
The countries that the British wish to travel to will still have their own entry rules. For example, the British are currently banned from going to the United States.
The Green Travel List will include people undergoing COVID-19 tests, one prior to their arrival in the UK and the other within two days of their return.