Spain becomes latest country to bring in extra curbs on Britons
Spain has confirmed that it will require British visitors to either be fully vaccinated or present a negative Covid test for entry from 2 July, following a month of no restrictions.
Malta tightened its rules to say it would only admit vaccinated British travellers aged 12 and over, which effectively ends any hope of a family holiday; while Portugal demands quarantine from those who haven’t been fully jabbed.
Meanwhile, hopes are fading for US-UK travel to restart before the end of the summer. According to reports, travel between the two nations is unlikely to resume anytime soon, despite intense pressure from airlines and lobby groups.
Travel between the US and the UK, usually a thriving market, has been largely frozen since March 2020.
Spain reimposes PCR test requirement for unvaccinated Britons
The change is expected to come into effect on Friday 2 July after being signed into law today.
The move is in response to concerns over the Delta variant.
Read more details here:
Which Covid test do I need for travel?
If you’re planning a summer holiday this year, you’ll need to think about Covid testing – whether for the outbound journey, or when you return to the UK.
Alongside the testing involved in travelling to a “green” or a”amber” country, each individual country has its own stipulations for arrivals. There are myriad hoops travellers must jump through, including pre-departure and post-arrival coronavirus tests taken within a certain timeframe.
The number and type of tests travellers need to get – both before and after travel – depends on the country they’re visiting. Each destination has its own requirements for entry, while the restrictions for those returning to the UK will vary depending on whether the country they’re arriving from is red, amber or green.
Helen Coffey has the full download on travel testing here:
Simon Calder is doing an exclusive Zoom tomorrow night – here’s how to sign up
Travel has rarely been so complicated – or more desperately hankered after this summer.
As we edge closer to the summer peak and continue on the roadmap out of domestic lockdown, the myriad issues around travelling abroad remain. The government’s infamous traffic light system for travel has been a hot topic for many weeks, and certainly long before the green list was announced on 14 May.
Now, several weeks on, confusion and frustration still surround the world of travel, with many unclear of the rules as the government continues to tread cautiously around the countries Brits can travel to without the imposition of onerous restrictions upon their return.
To help you understand the ongoing chaos a little better, our award-winning travel team is gathering together to put on an exclusive virtual event in which the latest advice will be discussed and as many of your travel questions as possible will be answered.
Our experts – travel editor Cathy Adams and travel correspondent Simon Calder – will be on hand for an hour to break down everything from the rules around travel to specific countries to the latest advice and tips on booking a UK holiday for your summer break.
More details on how to sign up here:
Irish Ferries begins Dover-Calais route
Irish Ferries has started sailing from Dover to Calais, with the first departure from the Kent port of theIsle of Inishmore.
Even though France remains on the British government’s “amber list” and has increasing concern about coronavirus cases in the UK, a new entrant has set sail on the key cross-Channel link.Irish Ferries will operate up to 10 daily crossings in competition with P&O Ferries and DFDS.
Andrew Sheen, managing director at Irish Ferries, said: “Our newly-launched route between Dover and Calais brings even more choice for freight customers who can now experience our outstanding service while travelling between the UK and France.“
We’re delighted to bring a little bit of Ireland to this route, and after months of travel limitations, we know that people are very eager to see family and friends, re-ignite business relations, and escape their everyday and take a much-needed holiday.
“We are in the business of connectivity and want to enable those special memories to be created once travel is permitted again.”
Fares start at £69 for a car and up to nine passengers.
Saga reports boost in searches and bookings
Saga Holidays, which specialises in holidays for travellers over 50, has said it has seen a “huge spike” in the number of searches and bookings.
As countries start to insist on arrivals being fully vaccinated, younger travellers who haven’t yet had their full course will need to wait a few more months.
Portugal and Malta are two holiday destinations that now insist on Britons being fully vaccinated against Covid-19 to visit.
Saga said it has seen a “surge” in searches for holidays to Spain, up 205 per cent; while breaks to Portugal have seen a 421 per cent increase. Madeira has seen an uplift of 344 per cent and the Balearics’ searches are up by 365 per cent.
Chris Simmonds, CEO of Saga Holidays, said: “Our customers are so looking forward to going on holiday again. They were early in the queue for both vaccines and are looking for some warmth, a change of scenery and new experiences.”
Labour renews calls for all ‘amber’ countries to be red-listed
Labour has renewed its call for tougher border controls.
The opposition is urging the government to scrap the “amber list” and move the countries currently on the medium-risk register to the “red list” – requiring arrivals from France, Italy, the US at around 150 countries to go into hotel quarantine.
It will use an urgent question in the House of Commons to demand the government scraps the amber list, introduces an “international vaccine passport” and publishes the available data on the decision-making behind the “traffic light” system.
As a reminder, there are currently 56 countries on the red list, and all arrivals must go into mandatory hotel quarantine for 11 nights.
Here’s the full story here:
Hong Kong blocks UK flights from 1 July
Flights from the UK to the territory were previously barred from December 2020 to May.
The UK is now classed as “extremely high risk”. Passengers who have stayed in the UK for more than two hours would be banned from boarding flights to the city, it said.
Ooh, we’re going to Ibiza…sort of
Spain has confirmed that tighter entry restrictions for Britons will come into force from Friday.
Last month, Spain axed all extra requirements for British visitors as it sought to recharge its battered tourism industry.
However, following an increase in Delta variant cases in the UK, Spain has tightened its rules again.
From midnight on 2 July, British travellers must either show proof of full vaccination or a negative Covid test.
Read the full story here:
US-UK travel unlikely before September
In June, coinciding with the G7 in Cornwall, a new transatlantic travel taskforce was set up to explore ways to reopen UK-US travel.
Travel between the two nations has been frozen since March 2020, thanks to a series of presidential proclamations, while the US is on the UK’s amber list of countries, requiring a 10-day quarantine when returning to the UK and two post-arrival PCR tests.
Now talks have stalled, with officials involved saying it was unlikely a conclusion would be reached by the end of next month, according to the Financial Times.
Read the full story here:
European vaccination travel guide
Many countries across Europe have tightened restrictions for Britons and now insist on a full course of vaccination against Covid-19.
The general rule is that at least 14 days should have elapsed from the date of your last jab, and you should take proof in the form of your NHS app.
The Independent’s Helen Coffey has the rundown on which countries will welcome fully-jabbed Britons here: