COVID-19: UK Eases Foreign Travel Restrictions

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Britain on Friday announced it was lifting a coronavirus ban on people in England going on holiday to Portugal and Israel due to their low infection and high vaccination rates.

“From May 17 you will be able to travel to 12 green-list countries… which include Portugal, Gibraltar and Israel,” Transport Minister Grant Shapps said.

However, popular destinations such as France, Spain and Greece are not on the  list, which is reviewed every three weeks.

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Turkey, Nepal and Maldives were added to the red list due to rising rates.

The minister also warned that those travelling to green list countries faced a “different” experience.

“Today marks the first step in our cautious return to international travel, with measures designed above all else to protect public health and ensure we don’t throw away the hard-fought gains we’ve all strived to earn this year,” said Shapps.

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“This is a new way of doing things, and people should expect travel to be different this summer –- with longer checks at the borders, as part of tough measures to prevent new strains of the virus entering the country and putting our fantastic vaccine rollout at risk,” he added.

The green list covers Portugal, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Brunei, Iceland, Faroe Islands, Gibraltar, Falkland Islands, and Israel.

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Holidaymakers to these countries will need to take a pre-departure test up to 72 hours before their return travel and a single test on or before day two of arrival into England, said the transport department.

The government in London sets transport and health policy for England only.

Shapps said he expected the devolved governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to follow suit.


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