CORONAVIRUS

Britons can holiday in the European Union, without having to self-isolate

Travellers from the UK will be able to travel to most countries in the EU without having to quarantine from 6 July when air bridges will be set up within the continent.

Britons can holiday in the European Union, without having to self-isolate
Emanuele Valeri EFE

Holidaying abroad will be a different experience this year but not all travellers will have to self-isolate when they return home as nations will be setting up quarantine-free 'air bridges' – the details of which are still in discussion and will be officially announced later this week. 

A series of measures will be in place designed to reduce the possibility of importing coronavirus from infected travellers - anyone who has shown any of the symptoms of Covid-19 will be advised not to travel. 

European Union borders will reopen on 1 July but with restrictions during the early stages. Of the 172 countries which had permission to fly to the EU region before the pandemic started, only around a fifth will be able to return during the next few weeks - and until the global situation with the coronavirus crisis eases.

Face masks during flights

Visitors will be obliged to wear a face mask for the duration of their journey and abide by social distancing rules. Some host countries will also require guests to wear a face mask inside public places such as shops, supermarkets, bars and restaurants - failure to do so could land you a 100 euro fine. 

Holiday destinations will be classified in terms of risk by a traffic light systemgreen and amber for ‘safe’ countries and red for countries will higher coronavirus risks where all non-essential travel is not advised and self-isolation will be required on return. No quarantine will be required for those returning to countries on the green and amber lists although travellers will be asked to fill in a form before they arrive back in the UK, detailing information about where they have travelled to and contact details. Failure to present this form to border officials could result in a 100 pound fine or the risk of you not being allowed into the country if you are not a UK resident or British citizen.

You will be required to provide the following information:

  • Your passport details
  • The name of the airline, train or ferry company you’re travelling with
  • The name of the company organising your tour group - if you’re travelling as part of a tour group
  • Your booking reference
  • The name of the airport, port or station you’ll be arriving into
  • The date you’ll be arriving
  • Your flight, train, bus or ferry number
  • The address you’ll be staying at for your first 14 days in the UK
  • Details of someone who can be contacted if you get ill while you’re in the UK

Green countries

Countries listed as ‘green’ in the traffic light system include: Austria, Barbados, Germany, Croatia, Greece, New Zealand, Thailand and Vietnam. Quarantine measures will be lifted for UK tourists returning from these countries. 

 Amber countries

Countries which appear on the 'amber' list include Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Portugal, Singapore, South Korea, Spain and Switzerland

Red countries

Countries on the 'red' list are deemed unsafe to travel to at the moment due to their ongoing problems with the coronavirus problems. High and in some cases, rising infection rates, stay-at-home orders and curfews might be in place at the destinations and entry may only be possible in special circumstances. 'Red' countries include: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Egypt, India, Israel, Mexico, Morocco and South Africa. At the moment, domestic flights to and from the United States from Europe are on hold due to the rising number of coronavirus cases in the US which is why it has been omitted from the list.

The traffic light system will be revised by the European Commission every 15 days, when more countries may be added to each of the three sections, or more to another one, depending on their local infection rate (which must be below the European average). 

UK Home Secretary Priti Patel warned that setting up air bridges will not be a straightforward task and urged Britons to be patient before booking flights and follow all of the advice given. "There will be an announcement in the next few days ahead. The review point is tomorrow, which is what the government outlined earlier in the month. So you will have to, along with members of the public, listen to the advise, see what the government is saying in terms of the countries which are going to be opening up and who we are working with - the countries which the Transport Secretary is in dialogue with right now. But over course, these measures won't come in overnight, they will take time because some of this will be down to negotiation and discussions with certain countries," she told reporters today.   

See also...

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