Malta and the Balearic Islands could be added to green list

‘Real possibility’ of Mallorca and Ibiza going green

Helen Coffey
Wednesday 23 June 2021 18:06
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Freeing up international travel ‘difficult’ says Matt Hancock in holiday update

Malta and the Balearic Islands, including holiday favourites Mallorca, Menorca and Ibiza, are in contention to join the UK’s green list.

The government is expected to announce its next review of the travel “traffic light” system on 24 June.

While there has been much speculation that no countries would be added to the slim “green list”, from where returning travellers need not quarantine, a government source told The Times there was a “real possibility” that the Balearics would make the cut.

However, a source also said that just “a handful” of destinations were under consideration for going green.

In the last update to the lists in early June, no new countries went green while Portugal, the only mainstream holiday destination to initially achieve quarantine-free status, was downgraded to amber.

Iceland and Gibraltar are currently the only viable holiday destinations on the 11-strong list for British travellers.

Returning travellers from amber and red countries must quarantine for 10 days upon arrival into the UK – the former at home, the latter in a designated quarantine hotel.

This is regardless of vaccination status, although this looks set to change for double jabbed amber list returnees in August.

The outbound travel industry’s hopes are pinned on Malta being moved up to the green list: the island nation has had just one Covid infection per 100,000 residents in the past seven days, alongside one of the most advanced vaccination rollouts in Europe.

But the country was also touted to be upgraded in the last review, to no avail.

Data analysed by the PC Agency from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and Our World in Data suggests that, according to the UK’s own criteria, the following countries should go green: the US, Croatia, Canada, Italy, Germany, the Balearic Islands, Mexico, Jamaica, Finland, Poland, Morocco, Malta, Barbados and Grenada.

It remains to be seen how many, if any, of these will get the go-ahead.

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