The British Government on Tuesday removed the Canary Islands from the list of destinations to which it had so far advised against traveling, if not for essential reasons, to its citizens due to the incidence of the coronavirus. As announced today in an update of the travel restrictions that appear on the website of the British Executive, the Foreign Office indicates that “it advises against any non-essential trip to Spain, including the Balearic Islands but excluding the Canary Islands, based on the current covid-19 risk assessment “.
Similarly, the Government removes Portugal (excluding the Azores) and several Greek islands from that list, waiting for it to disseminate its new “traffic light” system before May 17, through which it will classify red, amber and green to countries depending on the epidemiological situation. The veto on overseas vacations is expected to be lifted within two weeks as part of the “roadmap” followed by the Boris Johnson government to effect gradual deconfinement. A system based on the level of risk in each country is expected to be introduced later this week, to which one of the three colors of the traffic light (green, amber or red) will be assigned, and which will entail different rules for travelers who they return according to the list in which their vacation destination appears.
Accordingly, those returning from a ‘green’ listed location will not be required to quarantine upon their return to the UK, while those arriving from an ‘amber’ destination will need to isolate themselves for at least five days. Citizens who have been to destinations classified on the “red” list (of maximum risk due to the virus) will have, on their return, to keep a quarantine of ten nights in a hotel authorized by the British Government – for a cost estimated at 1,750 pounds (2,016 euros), which is borne by the citizen himself.
When evaluating the risk due to the virus in each country, several elements will be taken into account, such as the proportion of the vaccinated population in each destination, infection rates, the emergence of new variants of the virus or access to reliable scientific data from countries. Although the current advice on foreign travel issued by the Foreign Office does not necessarily have to coincide with the “green” list that the government will publish in the coming days, it does give an idea about the assessment made by the British Executive on the risks that presents each destination for tourists.