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Greece Still Off UK’s ‘Green’ Safe Travel List

Photo source: Heathrow Airport

Photo source: Heathrow Airport

Greece has not been added to the United Kingdom’s ‘green list’ of quarantine-free destinations, following the review of the government’s traffic light system on Thursday.

The country remains on the ‘amber’ list, meaning that restrictions will apply to people returning to England after visiting the country.

Holidaymakers and travel companies were disappointed when Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced no additions to the UK’s ‘green list’ for travel.

On the contrary, Shapps said that Portugal would move from the green list to the amber list from 4am on Tuesday, June 8.

Referring to a “difficult decision”, Shapps explained that Portugal was moved to the amber list due to the doubling of its positivity rate. He added that the Nepal mutation of the so-called Indian variant is also of concern.

UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.

UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.

Travelers returning to the UK after holidaying at ‘amber’ countries will need to (home) quarantine for a period of 10 days and take a pre-departure test, and a PCR test on day 2 and day 8 with the option for Test to Release on day 5 to end self-isolation early.

“I understand that we are all desperate to see the world return to normal but that can only happen through the domestic unlock first. We all look forward to the 21st of June to see what could be done… and we simply don’t want to put that at risk… So, safety first,” he said.

7 countries go ‘red’

Moreover, according to the Department for Transport, Afghanistan, Bahrain, Costa Rica, Egypt, Sudan, Trinidad and Tobago, and Sri Lanka will move from the amber list to the UK’s red list of nations.

Arrivals from ‘red’ countries are subject to restrictions which include a 10-day stay in a managed quarantine hotel, pre-departure testing and PCR testing on day 2 and 8.

The following countries and territories have remained on the UK’s ‘green’ list: Israel; Singapore; Australia; New Zealand; Brunei; Iceland; Gibraltar; Falkland Islands; Faroe Islands; South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands; and St Helena, Tristan de Cunha, Ascension Island.

The UK’s next review of the traffic-light system is expected on June 28.

ABTA: No meaningful resumption of international travel

Responding to the review of the UK’s traffic light list, Britain’s travel association ABTA said that the government’s domestic health strategy is continuing to prevent any “meaningful resumption” of international travel.

“You can’t build the recovery of a multi-billion-pound sector while mass market holiday destinations remain off the green list. The removal of Portugal comes on the back on what was already a very short and cautious green list,” said Mark Tanzer, Chief Executive of ABTA.

Photo source: Heathrow Airport

Photo source: Heathrow Airport

According to Tanzer, travel agents and tour operators haven’t been able to generate income since the start of the pandemic and have been depending on the return of international travel to help bring in some much needed relief.

ABTA’s chief executive said it hopes that in the next review of the traffic-light system, the government will deliver “meaningful progress” towards restart.

“Ministers must use that review to finally take the steps needed to capitalise on the great progress of the vaccine rollout in the UK. For example, many countries have chosen to exempt fully vaccinated individuals from certain travel requirements,” he said.

Tanzer added that the UK government should also treat islands separately in the traffic light system and take steps to further reduce the cost of testing.

Click here for all ‘green’, ‘amber’ or ‘red’ list rules for entering England.

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  1. Mark+brealey Reply

    Should also be remembered that a pre departure test is required even before returning to the UK. So as a fully vaccinated person I will need 3 tests and stay home for 10 days. Luckily I am still working from home and can do online food shop. But I appreciate many cannot and this overkill by uk government

  2. Carl+Simpson Reply

    The islands should have been put on the green list they are doing well compared to the Greek mainland.

  3. Steve+Powell Reply

    I’m afraid this was inevitable, given the relatively high numbers of infections in Greece compared to the UK.

    • Christina Reply

      There isn’t a high number of infections and people in Greece are extra careful, wearing masks and everything. What’s happening simply doesn’t make any sense. Vaccinated people should be able to move without silly restrictions like quarantine.

      • David Bruce Reply

        Depends on what you mean by high. Greece is reporting more covid cases per 100,000 of population than Germany, Italy, France, Turkey, Russia, Norway, Portugal, Austria, Spain and Hungary – to name but a few. Where I am in Greece mask wearing is on the decline and cases are rising. More cases in May than in March and April combined. Just over 20% of the Greek population are fully vaccinated and the government hope that they may be able to give half the population one shot of the vaccine by end of June. Today the government had to announce the creation of special teams to crackdown on parties that risk becoming super spreader events. Fully vaccinated individuals are quite capable of still transmitting the virus. So until the rest of us are fully vaccinated – quarantine doesn’t look that silly.

  4. donald+eckersall Reply

    3rd flight cancelled to greece, going to keep trying.

    • Mark+brealey Reply

      As far as I am aware Ryanair still flying but still a couple of weeks to go and have hesitated on other bits of my trip like booking ferry and returning PCR tests

  5. Joan+Brewer Reply

    I am fully vaccinated and careful. Not really sure how long this government thinks it can keep people in prison without charge

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