May 7, 2021

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Holidays in the UK: hopes for the Greek islands, Portugal and the Canary Islands after the travel advice update

Sakis Papadopoulos / robertharding via Getty Images

The first indication of summer holiday destinations that could be considered safe for British travelers has emerged after the government updated its advice on visits to Portugal, some Greek islands and the Spanish Canary Islands.

The latest updates from the formal travel councils of the Office of Foreign Affairs, the Commonwealth and Development (FCDO) show that the UK is no longer advising “exceptional travel” in various selected places.

Portugal (excluding the Azores), plus the Greek islands of Rhodes, Kos, Zakynthos, Corfu and Crete, and from Spain Canary Islands, they all saw updates on Tuesday morning which meant that, in theory, holiday travel is already allowed, though not yet in practice.

However, tourism to and from countries will remain banned under Covid restrictions until the government announces its system of traffic lights for travel that can take place from 17 May.

The so-called “green list” of the safest countries to travel is expected later this week, which will give families and the tourism industry just over ten days to prepare for the first lifting of restrictions .

Those returning from the green list countries will not have to quarantine, those returning from the green list countries will have to be isolated for at least five days. Travelers returning from a red-list country will be required to stay a ten-night stay in a quarantine hotel at a cost of £ 1,750 for solo travelers.

There is no guarantee that the Greek islands, Portugal or the Canary Islands will be on the green list, but new updates to the FCDO’s travel tips will spark intense speculation with the travel industry that they are lining up for early relaxation. of the curbs.

The prime minister’s official spokesman stressed that the advice from foreign offices on each country’s risk assessment was currently overturned by Covid’s current travel limits.

“There is a distinction between the orientation of travel to field offices and the general rules applied by the government on travel restriction, which have not changed and what guide if people are allowed to travel. This remains in place.” he said.

The so-called “global travel task” created under transport secretary Grant Shapps is set to give its first clues to overseas tourism in the coming days.

“Green List” assessments will be based on a number of factors, including a country’s proportion of vaccinated population, infection rates, new emerging variants, and the country’s access to reliable scientific data and genomic sequencing. .