Covid-19: UK to open up European holidays from July 6

Holidaymakers are expected to be allowed to travel to certain European countries

UK holidaymakers are expected to be allowed to travel to certain European countries

LONDON, July 1 (NNN-AGENCIES) — Blanket restrictions on non-essential overseas travel will be relaxed in the UK from July 6, ministers have said.

Holidaymakers are expected to be allowed to travel to certain European countries without having to spend 14 days in quarantine when they return.

They are thought to include Spain, France, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Finland, Belgium, Turkey, Germany and Norway – but not Portugal or Sweden.

The full list of travel corridors with the UK will be published next week.

A government spokesman said the new rules would give people “the opportunity for a summer holiday abroad” while also boosting the UK economy – but stressed the relaxation depended on risks staying low.

The UK is likely to discuss arrangements with countries over the coming days.

The government said it “wouldn’t hesitate to put on the brakes” if the situation changes.

Ministers in Scotland have said that a decision has not yet been taken to ease restrictions on holiday travel.

Although the UK government has powers over border controls, health protection issues on overseas travel must be supported by Scottish government regulations because health is a devolved matter.

Travel services have seen a sharp rise in the number of holiday bookings.

Portugal has seen a rise in the number of new cases in and around Lisbon recently, while Sweden is also unlikely to be on the list because the infection rate there is higher than in the UK.

They are both likely to be classified as red.

Portugal’s Secretary of State for Tourism Rita Baptista Marques said her country had been named the most secure destination in Europe by the World Tourism and Travel Council and is a “clean and safe destination”.

Portugal, which will probably not be on next week’s UK list of exemptions, feels hard done-by.

The country is desperate that UK tourists return.

Greece’s Tourism Minister Haris Theoharis suggested that it could be up to three weeks before the country is happy to open up an air bridge to the UK, as discussions with health experts are continuing.

Theoharis said: “As soon as we have more clarity, we’ll be able to convey the right dates and the right message so that’s why it’s not easy for me to pinpoint exact dates.

Spain lifted its state of emergency last Sunday, reopening its borders to visitors from most of Europe and allowing British tourists to enter the country without having to quarantine.

The UK introduced rules requiring all people arriving in the UK to self-isolate for 14 days on June 8. — NNN-AGENCIES