HOLIDAY islands in Spain, Greece and Portugal could welcome British tourists back early this summer, according to the Transport Secretary.
It is feared that many EU countries could be placed onto the UK’s ‘amber’ list as part of the new traffic light scheme which would require a mandatory quarantine back in the UK.
However, it has been said that the islands, which includes the Canaries and the Balearics in Spain and popular hotspots Mykonos and Zante in Greece could be opened earlier to tourists.
In Greece, nearly 70 of the smaller islands are close to being fully vaccinated while the Spanish islands, which heavily rely on tourism, have been pushing to welcome tourists back for months with lower Covid rates than the mainland.
Portuguese islands Madeira and the Azores are also faring better than the rest of the country in regard to Covid cases.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, when asked about whether he would introduce a similar travel corridor scheme like last summer, said during a webinar: “The simple answer is yes. I want to do that again.”
Last year, a similar scheme let Brits head to the islands without having to quarantine while parts of the mainland still required it.
Many countries are already welcoming Brits back despite the continued UK travel ban – Greece is now letting fully-vaccinated tourists back, or those with a negative Covid test, while Portugal’s island of Madeira is doing the same for tourists who are vaccinated or show proof of antibodies.
Spain is yet to open to tourists but hopes to introduce vaccine passports by June.
However, the UK government are still to confirm the countries which will be placed onto the green list, ahead of the anticipated May 17 date which will allow foreign travel to resume.
The new system being discussed will use a three-colour guide to mandate what restrictions travellers would face depending on the risk.
Countries on the “green” list would be able to travel without quarantine restrictions and would require a pre-flight Covid test as well as a PCR test on day two of returning to the UK.
This is expected to include Malta and Gibraltar in Europe, along with the US, Australia and New Zealand.
“Amber” countries would require a negative Covid test before arrival in the UK, plus two further tests once in the country and a ten-day quarantine at home.
Then arrivals from “red list countries would have to isolate at a quarantine hotel for 10 days, at a cost of £1,750.
The holiday destinations giving tourists FREE vaccines when they arrive
Some countries are even offering tourists free vaccines on arrivals.
If you don’t fancy going on holiday abroad, UK trips can already go ahead, with last-minute deals from £69.