Travel news latest: Malta tightens rules on UK arrivals, hours after green list promotion

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Just hours after it was added to the UK’s quarantine-free green list, Malta has imposed its own restrictions on arriving British holidaymakers.

The Maltese government has announced that from June 30 UK travellers will have to present proof of vaccination in order to visit the island quarantine-free, according to local reports. Unvaccinated travellers will face self isolation on arrival. It is yet to be confirmed whether the NHS app, which has been designed to allow travellers to present a “vaccine passport” will be accepted in Malta.

The decision has reportedly been made due to concerns over the spread of coronavirus variants in the UK. Amid these fears German Chancellor Angela Merkel is leading calls that all EU countries introduce mandatory quarantine for travelling Britons.

Malta was one of 14 countries to be added to the “green list” in last night’s announcement by Transport Secretary Grants Shapp, however it is the only one not to be placed on the “green watchlist”. The Balearic Islands and Madeira, which were placed on the “watchlist”, are said to be “most at risk” of being downgraded to “amber” at short notice, leaving foreign holidays largely still in limbo

Speaking to Sky News this morning Mr Shapps explained the “watchlist” definition: “You can go and it is treated like a green list country, but we are just being completely open with the data.” He warned the Government might “respond quickly” to make changes to the list.

Scroll down for updates.

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Malta: What are the rules?

650,000 British holidaymakers visited Malta in 2019, according to the Times of Malta – making it the island nation’s largest tourism market. 

From Wednesday at 4am Britons will once again be able to visit, but face restrictions on arrival, including quarantine for those unvaccinated, as well as the requirement to carry out mandatory testing before they return to the UK and on the second day back at home – as per the “green list” rules.

Here’s a reminder of those rules:

Grant Shapps: “No guarantees” on being able to travel this summer

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has said there are ”no guarantees” on being able to go on a summer holiday abroad this year, as restrictions can “change relatively quickly.”

Speaking in BBC Breakfast Mr Shapps said people “must be aware” there are “complications” this year and that the government is “just trying to provide guidance”.

Which countries are on the green list?

14 countries were added to the green list last night, but it’s not as simple as you’d hope – the watchlist creates a new layer of uncertainty for holidaymakers.

Find out which countries are now on the green list, when you can travel to them and what the watchlist means, here.

Confusion deepens as new ‘watchlist’ leaves foreign holidays in limbo

Ministers were on Thursday night accused of making summer travel more “complex and confusing” after warning holidaymakers that their trips could be scuppered at the last minute.

The Government announced that 14 destinations – including the holiday islands Mallorca, Ibiza, Malta and Madeira – would be opened up, allowing holidaymakers to travel to them from 4am on Wednesday without having to quarantine on their return.

But 13 of the nations were added to a newly-created green “watchlist”, meaning they are “most at risk” of suddenly turning amber.

Charles Hymas has the full story here.

What happened yesterday?

Before we begin, here’s a recap on what happened yesterday:

  • Malta and Balearics get green light, but new ‘watchlist’ leaves most holidays in limbo

  • Six countries added to hotel quarantine ‘red list’

  • Portugal tightens Covid rules in holiday hotspots 

  • EE to reinstate roaming charges now that UK has left EU

  • Merkel and Macron to press EU on coordinated quarantine for British tourists

Now, on with today’s news.

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