England expands travel green list to include Malta and Balearic Islands

Malta, the Balearic Islands, Madeira and Caribbean islands have been added to England’s travel “green” list of countries that holidaymakers can visit without quarantining on their return.

The U.K. government is also preparing to drop the 10-day self-isolation requirement for fully-vaccinated Brits when returning from amber list countries later this summer, according to Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.

“Thanks to our successful vaccination programme, our intention is that later in the summer, UK residents who are fully vaccinated will not have to isolate when travelling from amber list countries,” he tweeted, adding that more details would be announced next month.

All of the new additions to the green list, except Malta, are being put on the “green watchlist,” which means they are on the brink of being reverted to the “amber” list.

Israel has also been added to the green watchlist, Shapps said, while Tunisia and Haiti will be put on the red list. That means travelers have to complete a mandatory hotel quarantine when entering England.

All these changes will come into effect from June 30 at 4 a.m.

“Any extension of the green list is welcome, however small, but we also have to be realistic: this is not yet the meaningful restart the aviation industry needs to be able to recover from the pandemic,” said Karen Dee, the chief executive of British lobby group the Airport Operators Association. “We urge the government to publish details on its plans and implement them as soon as possible to save what remains of the summer season,” she added.

On Wednesday, hundreds of travel sector workers descended on Westminster to call on the British government to “save” the summer, arguing that it had failed to receive the necessary sector-related support that other badly-hit industries had received.

The U.K. government also faced a further backlash after it announced that thousands of football VIPs will be able to swerve travel restrictions when they attend the Euro 2020 semifinals and finals in the U.K. next month, after ministers amended the relevant travel regulations.

Meanwhile, some countries are tightening their restrictions on travelers coming from the U.K. From Saturday, Belgium will ban arrivals from the U.K. — apart from citizens, residents and some other limited exceptions — amid concerns about the Delta variant.

And earlier this week, German Chancellor Angela Merkel chastised Portugal for allowing British tourists into the country. The country is now dealing with a spike in cases caused by the delta variant.

This article is part of POLITICO’s premium policy service: Pro Mobility. From the digitization of the automotive sector to aviation policy, logistics and more, our specialized journalists keep you on top of the topics driving the Mobility policy agenda. Email [email protected] for a complimentary trial. 

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