HOLIDAY hotspots such as Spain and Italy could be opened up to Brits at the end of June as coronavirus restrictions are eased.
Ministers are reportedly considering plans to allow quarantine-free travel to “green listed” countries that have jabbed a large portion of the population.
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However, those returning from “amber” and “red” countries would still need to quarantine on their return to the UK.
According to The Times, the government will review the plan on June 28 – and quarantine could be relaxed for amber countries. These could include tourist hotspots such as Spain, Italy and Greece.
The list of which countries will fall into which category is due to be published early next month.
Meanwhile, the government has also pledged to slash the costs of Covid tests before and after travel following claims that it allowed only the wealthiest families to travel overseas.
Downing Street is pondering free Covid tests with Brits allowed to take abroad the NHS lateral flow kits for use before they come home.
Plans to be published today will also see officials reducing the price of testing from safe countries by two thirds.
Travel traffic light system
GREEN: Anyone returning from these countries must take a pre-flight Covid test at their own cost, then take a further test within days of landing to check for new strains;
AMBER: Like green but those entering the UK must isolate at home for ten days after arrival. They can get out after five days with a negative test paid for privately;
RED: Arrivals must isolate on their return in an authorised hotel at their own cost — as they do currently.
Travellers must currently take two PCR tests when arriving in England – one on their second day and another on their eighth. The two tests cost a total of £210 per person.
On top of this, travellers must take a test up to 72 hours before boarding a flight back to the UK from abroad – which costs around £60 per person.
Boris Johnson is “confident” trips abroad will be allowed from May 17, though he makes the final call next month.
Different countries are set to be graded green, amber or red according to their vaccinations, infection rates, the prevalence of variants of concern, and their genomic sequencing capacity.
It comes amid fears that opening international travel fully would allow dangerous new mutations into the UK – undermining the success of the vaccination programme.
Foreign travel is currently banned except for a handful of permitted reasons.
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