Despite threats from the European Union to close the door to British tourists – foreign holidays to the Balearic islands, Malta and Madeira were given the go-ahead last night.
The government announced it would increase its green list destinations from next Wednesday, allowing holidaymakers to travel to 16 countries and overseas territories without the need to quarantine on return.
The new destinations will cover the Balearics, including Ibiza, Mallorca and Menorca, which attract 5-million British tourists each year. Other additions include Malta, Madeira and 10 islands in the Caribbean and North Atlantic. The government confirmed it would let fully vaccinated Brits travel to “amber” destinations without being forced to quarantine on their return from August. The full details are expected next month.
The announcement was somewhat overshadowed when it emerged that the EU was planning to scrap quarantine-free holidays for British travellers. Leaders from the 27-nation bloc met in Brussels last night, promising to remain “vigilant and co-ordinated” to prevent the import of the Delta variant which has taken hold in Britain. Yesterday, German chancellor Angela Merkel called for EU states to quarantine arrivals from Britain in an effort to contain it.
It’s understood France is preparing to put Britain on its own travel “red list”, meaning that even fully vaccinated tourists would need to isolate for seven days. French president Emmanuel Macron backed Merkel’s call for a co-ordinated EU response saying:
“We must remain vigilant because of the Delta variant. One of the issues of this discussion is to take truly co-ordinated decisions in terms of the opening of our countries.”