Britons considering a trip abroad this summer should be aware that “things may change” in terms of the rules for travel, a government minister has warned.
Kit Malthouse was speaking amid speculation that popular destinations with rising Covid-19 infections like Italy, Spain and Greece could be added to the “amber plus” list requiring self-isolation on return to England – while restrictions on travel from France could be eased as fears about the Beta variant of coronavirus decline.
The White House last night poured cold water on hopes of a travel corridor with the UK, saying the US will maintain existing travel restrictions as the highly infectious Delta variant continues to circulate in countries including Britain.
Mr Malthouse said there was “a lot of uncertainty about travel overseas at the moment” and transport secretary Grant Shapps was “constantly” assessing the situation in countries around the world to determine how safe they are for visits.
The policing minister told Sky News that he and his family have scrapped plans for a holiday in Italy in favour of the Northumbrian coast.
“I know the Department for Transport secretary of state is talking to the Department of Health, they’re constantly assessing the numbers and Grant has said again and again there is a lot of uncertainty about going overseas,” said Mr Malthouse.
“I have to tell to you, we had plans to go to Italy this year and because of the uncertainty we decided not to go. We’re going to the lovely Northumbrian coast instead.
“So while obviously, there’s a strong desire to go overseas and lots of people are, I think they need to be aware that things may change.”
At present, only 29 countries are on the DFT “green list” allowing visitors to return to England without self-isolation. Only a handful – including Malta, Croatia and Australia – are popular with tourists, and many have restrictions on visits by UK nationals.
For countries on the larger “amber list” – including most of Europe – vaccinated Britons are not required to go into quarantine on return, with the exception of France which is classed “amber plus”, meaning even those with two jabs must self-isolate for 10 days.
Arrivals from “red list” countries – including India and Brazil – must spend 10 days in a quarantine hotel in England.
And any overseas travel comes with the additional cost of tests to be taken before and after arrival.