Britain's borders to reopen for international travel to 'handful' of countries in 16 days

BRITAIN’S borders will be reopened for international travel in 16 days, with “a handful” of approved countries published as soon as Tuesday.

Boris Johnson and his medics are “confident” the Covid case data means they can push ahead for the 17 May unlocking milestone that will see a slow return to travel for leisure.

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A traffic light system of risk will see the world carved up into green, amber or red zones based on vaccine roll-out and case rates, as well as new variants found.

But insiders warn only a “handful” of countries will be approved for “green” quarantine free travel in the first tranche due to be published next week.

Gibraltar, Malta and Portugal are early contenders for the coveted status, but holiday favourites France, Spain, Greece and Italy are still some weeks away from being approved and heading for “amber” status.

Green zones will mean quarantine free travel but tests before and after entry.

Travellers from amber list countries will have to quarantine at home for 10 days on arrival.

Entry from red list countries will be outlawed still, with anyone coming through those countries forced to pay to be isolated in a hotel when they arrive at their own cost.

But ministers are under growing pressure to speed up publication of which countries will be in which zone.

Last night the boss of the powerful Commons Transport Committee blasted: “Incredibly, passengers and industry are still in the dark about which countries they can visit and the requirements to do so."

Tory Huw Merriman added that details this weekend would be “the bare minimum of planning that the industry and consumers need to begin any sort of preparations for a restart of international travel on 17 May".

He added: “Instead, uncertainty has been prolonged. This uncertainty could cost people their jobs."

And he warned: “The Government is in danger of squandering the opportunity to take advantage of the UK’s world-leading ‘vaccine dividend’ as countries across the globe begin to open up for international travel.”


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