Green list update – Slovenia, Austria and Norway among 7 new countries added in major holiday boost

THE GREEN list for holidays has been expanded again to include Slovenia, Austria and Norway.

In a huge boost for Brits desperate for a summer break, seven new countries have been added to the list, which means people don't have to quarantine or take tests on their return.

Austria, Germany, Slovenia, Slovakia, Latvia, Romania and Norway were all declared safe and added to the Green list tonight, coming into effect from Sunday at 4am.

But holidays to Spain this summer will cost £100 more after travellers were told to take gold standard PCR tests to jet back to Britain tonight.

A family heading back from the Costas will land a hefty bill and a nervy wait before they come home after officials suggested arrivals take the test to spot potential vaccine busting variants.

Spain has seen a spike in Beta cases but ministers opted for extra testing, rather than re-imposing quarantine for double-jabbed tourists.

Average PCR tests that need to be taken at least 72 hours before travel back to the UK cost around £100 per person tested.

It comes as:

  • Spain swerved a more to the hated amber plus list, which was officially scrapped after France was taken off it
  • The UAE, home of influencers' paradise Dubai was sensationally removed from the red list, along with other Middle Eastern holiday hubs, Qatar, Bahrain and India
  • Mexico went onto the red over fears of a new Colombian Variant along with Georgia, the French islands of La Reunion and Mayotte
  • The price of red list hotels will increase to put more Brits off going to dangerous destinations

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, who has been getting it in the neck from cabinet colleagues over the travel chaos said he continues to be “cautious” reopening travel.

He said: “We are committed to opening up international travel safely, taking advantage of the gains we’ve made through our successful vaccination programme, helping connect families, friends and businesses around the world.

“While we must continue to be cautious, today’s changes reopen a range of different holiday destinations across the globe, which is good news for both the sector and travelling public.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid added: “As well as moving more countries to the green list, today’s announcement also demonstrates the need for continued caution.

"Further countries have been added to the red list to help protect the success of our vaccine rollout from the threat of new variants.”

Ministers have also INCREASED the cost of hotel quarantine by nearly £500 as they say the service is getting more expensive to run.

From August 12, it will cost £2,285 to return from a red-list country for a single person and an additional £1,430 for a second adult in the room – up from £1750 per person.

The price for children ages five to 12 stays unchanged at £325.

Tim Alderslade, CEO of Airlines UK, who represents British Airways, Easyjet and Virgin said: “This is another missed opportunity and with the summer season nearing its conclusion means international travel has not had anything like the reopening it was hoping for.

“This puts us at odds with our European neighbours and clearly does not represent the liberation of aviation that the Prime Minister has spoken of.

“Alongside the continuation of expensive testing and a much smaller than hoped for expansion of the green list – which makes less sense by the day given where we are with the vaccination programme – this is yet another blow to the sector and families desperate to get away, and means the UK continues to open up far slower than the rest of Europe.”

Travel expert Paul Charles added: “While there’s some welcome progress, the government is still being too cautious at a time when they should be opening up travel faster to help the sector’s recovery. Despite promising a simpler traffic lights system, there remain four colour categories.

“The government is also failing to address the hurdles putting off consumers from booking, namely not giving a week or more’s notice of a country being moved to amber or red and the high cost of onerous testing.

“Until these are resolved, the government continues to deliberately keep travel in an armlock.”

    Source: Read Full Article