It is the question on everyone’s mind. Will we, or will we not, be able to travel abroad this summer? And if so, where?
At this very moment, the rules are straightforward: you are not allowed to travel overseas for non-essential reasons. Those who do will have to take a test before traveling home, and face either enter a ten-day quarantine at home (with two tests, on days two and eight, costing £210) or a mandatory stay at a Government-approved hotel (costing £1,750) if arriving from a red list country.
That red list currently features 33 nations deemed to be a danger when it comes to the importing the South African and Brazilian variants, including Portugal, the UAE and South Africa itself. There are reports that Spain and the USA could soon be added to the list, due to local transmission of new variants and close travel links with South America and Portugal.
That’s what’s going on now. When it comes to our summer holidays, the outlook is somewhat hazier. The Government has been tight-lipped when it comes to offering any roadmap for when international travel will resume, so the possibility remains that we will not go abroad at all.
But let us work with one possible scenario. It is July. The UK’s vaccination drive has been a roaring success, Covid cases, deaths and hospitalisations are right down across the UK, new variants have failed to drive them up, and everyday life resembles some kind of normality. Other countries are in similar positions, meaning we can start to open up our borders and build a ‘green list’ of countries we can visit on a restriction-free basis.
Of course, we are dealing with an ever-changing situation here (just two months ago we didn’t even know about the Kent, South African or Brazilian variants) so our tips for a summer holiday come with a very big caveat: book at your own risk, and consider these factors before you do so.
But we do now have information and data beyond case numbers per 100,000 (the prime consideration for last year’s travel corridors list) which can help us to build a better idea of where we might be able to travel in the summer of 2021.
We have considered the following factors in building our green watchlist:
- How is the vaccination rollout going?
- Did it reopen to UK arrivals in 2020, without quarantine?
- Is the Government in support of vaccine certification to waive quarantine for arrivals?
- What are the current case numbers?
- Does it have hotel quarantine, or other prohibitive border policies in place?
Vaccines administered: 603,667 doses (5% of population)
Cases per 100,000 (7 days): 68.2
There are a number of reasons why Greece is on our holiday green watchlist. The first is that it has a track record of opening its doors during a pandemic. Last summer Greece became one of the first destinations to reopen to tourism (on June 15) and it was a trailblazer when it came to testing arrivals rather than putting them into a mandatory quarantine.
Early in 2021, Greece’s Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis became the first European leader to call for a vaccine certificate as a means to scrap quarantine and tests for arrivals. Speaking on Bloomberg on Tuesday, he said: “People will want to travel, especially during the summer, and it doesn’t make much sense not to facilitate travel – to the extent that we feel comfortable – to welcome people who have been vaccinated”.
Read more: yahoo