Travel: Experts slam taskforce report on summer holidays
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Summer holidays are something to look forward to each year, however, Britons have faced months of upheaval and coronavirus restrictions. Now a Government task force is examining how Britons can travel abroad come May, with countries categorised depending on coronavirus data.
International travel is permitted from May 17 under Boris Johnson’s lockdown roadmap, meaning holidays are back on the cards.
The Global Travel Taskforce are in the process of deciding which countries will be free to travel to, which will face quarantine upon return to the UK and which are banned.
A number of factors are being used to determine the lists, which are categorised in traffic light colours of green, amber and red.
This includes Covid cases, vaccination efforts, the extent of variants and capacity for genome sequencing of the virus.
Read More: Spain boosts holiday hopes as tourism chiefs ready to welcome Brits
Is Greece on the red list?
Eager Britons are awaiting the green list announcement, but for those wanting to travel to Greece, they may already have learned the country has scrapped quarantine rules for UK travellers.
Those travelling to Greece who have been fully vaccinated against Covid or can show proof of a negative PCR test no longer have to isolate upon arrival.
However, holidays are still banned under the Government’s coronavirus guidelines.
At the time of writing, only a few high-risk countries have been classified under the Government’s new travel scheme.
One of these is India, which has seen a surge in cases in recent weeks – resulting in Mr Johnson cancelling a trip to the country.
Greece is not on the red list, however, Britons will learn more in early May.
Aviation Minister Robert Courts told the Transport Select Committee: “We need to be in a position whereby when we make those decisions, it is on the data that exists at that time.
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“We are still some distance away from that date at the moment.
“I anticipate that in the early part of May we will be able to give some more detail into which category each country will fall.”
Greece has pledged to vaccinate everyone living on its 85 islands, and the speed of these vaccinations will no doubt play a role in categorising the country.
Some travel experts believe Greece will land on the amber list, meaning any travellers returning to the UK will have to spend 10 days in isolation.
So Britons will have to wait and see whether Greek holidays are back on the cards this summer.
There will likely be rules in place for holidaymakers, as currently it is mandatory to wear a mask in all public places (both indoors and outdoors), in all areas of Greece.
There is also a curfew in place from 9pm to 5am, and anyone leaving their accommodation must carry a note explaining their reasoning for travel.
For more information on the coronavirus rules in Greece, visit the Government’s website here.
Is TUI taking bookings for Greece?
Travel agent TUI is currently taking bookings for Greece from May 17 onwards.
You can book for destinations like Turkey, Spain, Italy, the Maldives and Portugal, among others.
Currently, on TUI’s site, you can’t book to travel to Albania, China, Czech Republic, Israel, Japan, Oman, Seychelles, Trinidad and Tobago or Uzbekistan.
If you book a trip to Turkey and cannot visit due to Covid restrictions, most travel agents are offering free rescheduling.
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