It’s been a long year for Brits dreaming of a far-flung vacation. But starting this month, a summer holiday might be back on the cards.
While non-essential travel from the UK is still banned at the moment, starting May 17, border restrictions are set to loosen and travellers from select ‘green list’ destinations will be allowed entry to the UK without having to quarantine.
Currently, there are seven countries and five territories on the list. But for travellers leaving the UK, that doesn’t mean a quarantine won’t be awaiting you when you arrive in one of those destinations.
In fact, there are only two countries that are currently welcoming Brits without a mandatory quarantine on either side: Portugal and Iceland. The Faroe Islands, an autonomous Danish territory, and Gibraltar, a British overseas territory, are also welcoming UK travellers without quarantine.
Back in March, Iceland starting letting in vaccinated Brits as well as those who have already had (and recovered from) Covid-19. On arrival, vaccinated Brits must take one test at the Icelandic border and can start their holiday once they receive negative results, usually within six to 24 hours.
As for travel restrictions in Portugal, mutual travel is set to restart on May 17. Currently, all arrivals in Portugal must fill in a passenger locator form and provide a negative test result from within the past 72 hours. As an alternative, the autonomous archipelago of Madeira has opened a ‘green corridor’ for international visitors who have been fully vaccinated or have recovered from Covid-19 within the previous 90 days.
The Faroe Islands, meanwhile, are letting in all vaccinated travellers and those who have recovered from the virus without any need to self-isolate on arrival. And Gibraltar will allow in all British travellers without any testing or quarantine requirements whatsoever.
So that’s four options for your summer – better than zero, but still some way short of the world being your oyster. We’re hoping restrictions will ease further over the coming weeks and months, so check back for more updates.
Remember, many countries are still warning against all non-essential travel and some are quarantining all overseas arrivals, including their own returning citizens. Check all the relevant restrictions before you think about travelling.
How safe is flying right now? We asked an expert.
Here’s everything you need to know about travel to Europe after Brexit.