Health

Ibiza, Mallorca and Menorca could be added to the ‘amber list’

Will you have to cancel your holiday if the Balearics go onto the amber list? 

If you’ll have to cancel your holiday if the Balearic islands go onto the amber list, get in touch by emailing [email protected]

Grant Shapps issued a stark warning to holidaymakers today amid signs tourist favourites including Ibiza are set to be upgraded to the ‘amber list’. 

The Balearic islands look doomed to be moved to higher restrictions only a fortnight after they were approved for quarantine-free travel, with a decision possible as early as today.

The hotspots — which also includes Mallorca and Menorca — have suffered a sharp rises in cases.

Infections were already shooting upwards before the archipelago was even added to No10’s ‘green list’ on June 30. But case numbers have continued to spiral following the influx of British holidaymakers.

Spanish newspapers have pointed the finger at young Spaniards travelling to the islands, and British experts say there is no proof yet that the decision to put Ibiza, Mallorca and Menorca on the green list is to blame for the rise in cases.

Those travelling to amber listed countries, such as mainland Spain, have to self-isolate for 10 days on their return to England.

However, as of July 19 the requirement to quarantine will be scrapped for the fully vaccinated and those aged under 18.

Mr Shapps told BBC Breakfast: ‘We review these every three weeks. I hope we have made very clear to everybody when booking trips at the moment there is always the chance that countries will move around.

‘Some countries may go to the red list, some countries may go to the green, but some may move the other way to the amber list.

‘It is a fact of life that they will continue to move around as the virus continues to develop and change globally.’

The Transport Secretary today also said Brits who received doses of AstraZeneca’s Covid vaccine made in India should not be prevented from travelling, after a British couple given the jab were turned away from travelling to see their son in Malta.  

Steve and Glenda Hardy, who received doses of the vaccine in March, were barred from flying by staff working for travel operator TUI at Manchester Airport on Friday. The retired couple, from Hull, were trying to visit their son, who they have not seen for over a year.

Mr Shapps told BBC Breakfast the Government will take up the issue with authorities in Malta, adding: ‘It is not right and it shouldn’t be happening.’

Infections were already shooting upwards before the archipelago was added to No10’s ‘green list’ on June 30. But case numbers have continued to spiral following the influx on British holidaymakers. A graph shows how the infection rate — the number of cases spotted per every 100,000 people over the course of a week — in the Balearic islands has changed over time

Grant Shapps has issued a stark warning to holidaymakers amid signs tourist favourites including Ibiza are set to be upgraded to the 'amber list'

Grant Shapps has issued a stark warning to holidaymakers amid signs tourist favourites including Ibiza are set to be upgraded to the ‘amber list’

The Spanish authorities have report a sharp increase in coronavirus cases in the Balearics over recent weeks

The Spanish authorities have report a sharp increase in coronavirus cases in the Balearics over recent weeks

Heathrow is expecting a surge in travellers as restrictions are loosened on 'Freedom Day' next week

Heathrow is expecting a surge in travellers as restrictions are loosened on ‘Freedom Day’ next week

British tourists took to Twitter to voice their frustration at the chopping and changing of travel restrictions today

British tourists took to Twitter to voice their frustration at the chopping and changing of travel restrictions today

What are the rules for people returning to England from abroad? 

AMBER LIST  

  • Take a Covid-19 test in the three days before you arrive in Britain 
  • Book and pay for day two and day eight Covid-19 tests – to be taken after arrival in England
  • Quarantine at home or in the place you are staying for 10 days, and complete a passenger locator form 
  • From July 19, if you are vaccinated, you won’t need to quarantine in England – but you will need to take a test before arriving back in the country, and then another on day two after your return

For arrivals returning from an amber list country, before arriving in England, you must take a private PCR or lateral flow test in the three days before the service on which you will arrive in England departs.

For example, if you travel to England on Friday, you can take the test on or after Tuesday and will need to have the negative result available before boarding on Friday.

Before you arrive in England, you must also book and pay for day two and day eight Covid-19 tests, to be taken after your arrival in England.

But under the Test to Release scheme you can choose to pay for a private Covid-19 test on day five. If the result is negative (and the result of your day two test result was negative or inconclusive), you can end your quarantine.

From 4am on July 19, you will not need to quarantine on arrival in England or take a day eight Covid-19 test, as long as you are fully vaccinated. This means that you have had your final dose of an approved vaccine at least 14 days before the date you arrive in England.

If you are not fully vaccinated under the UK vaccination programme, you will have to quarantine on arrival and take both the day 2 and day 8 tests. If you arrive in England before 4am on July 19, you must follow the current rules, even if you have been fully vaccinated.

RED LIST

  • You can only enter England if you are a British or Irish National, or you have residence rights in the UK
  • Take a Covid-19 test in the three days before you arrive in Britain 
  • Book a quarantine hotel package, including two Covid-19 tests, and fill out a passenger locator form

If you have been in a country or territory on the red list in the last ten days you will only be allowed to enter the UK if you are a British or Irish National, or you have residence rights in the UK. 

You must also take a Covid-19 test in the three days before you arrive and book into a quarantine hotel.

The rate for one adult in one room for ten days (11 nights) is £1,750, while the additional rate for one adult (or child over 11) is £650, and for a child aged 5 to 11 it is £325.

While in the quarantine hotel you must also take two Covid-19 tests. 

GREEN LIST

  • Take a Covid-19 test in the three days before you arrive in Britain
  • Book and pay for a day two Covid-19 test, which will be taken after your arrival in England
  • Complete a passenger locator form

Before arriving in England, you must take a private PCR or lateral flow test in the three days before the service on which you will arrive in England departs. 

You cannot take an NHS test abroad with you to use on yourself before you return. If you are returning to the UK within three days, you can use the result of a Covid-19 test that you take in the UK before you travel – but this must be from a private test provider and not the NHS. 

In other coronavirus developments today:

  • A British couple were turned away from travelling to see their son in Malta after they were unknowingly given an Indian-made version of the AstraZeneca vaccine;
  • Mask rules descended further into chaos as Grant Shapps backed Sadiq Khan keeping them compulsory on the Tube, buses and taxis in London — even though they are not required on trains from ‘Freedom Day’;
  • Business leaders criticised the Government for ‘mixed messages’ over returning to the office ahead of the long-standing official ‘work from home’ order being scrapped in just five days’ time;
  • Ministers were accused of using nightclubs as a proxy weapon to drive up youth coronavirus jab rates amid a furious row over Covid passports;
  • Ed Sheeran has been forced to quarantine for a second time after the singer was notified that he had come into contact with a Covid case;
  • A major Covid outbreak has struck a Royal Navy flotilla including 100 crew of the flagship HMS Queen Elizabeth after sailors allegedly went partying in Cyprus.

A decision on putting the Balearic islands back on the amber list could come this afternoon as the government carries out its three-weekly review of the traffic light system. 

‘It’s all still up for discussion, but the figures aren’t great which is why it was on the watch list in the first place,’ a source told The Sun.

The Department for Transport said there was ‘nothing to say at the moment’ on changes to the Balearic islands’ travel status.

Spanish media report that health officials have advised students living on the mainland to cancel trips to the islands because ‘the risk of transmission in the same environment where the cases are occurring is high’.

More than 1,000 infections have been linked to young adults returning from Mallorca, El Pais claims. 

The infection rate across the group of islands — how many cases are spotted in a week for every 100,000 residents — has risen fourteen-fold from a low of 20 in mid-June to around 280 on July 13.

Dr Simon Clarke, an infectious disease expert at the University of Reading, told MailOnline that it was too early to blame British holidaymakers for the spike.

He said: ‘Not very many people have been going to the Balearics until recently, and certainly there has been upset among people when people from places like Germany have been allowed to go to the Balearics while we haven’t.

‘Just because the UK and Balearics are going up in terms of case numbers it doesnt mean that they are linked, they might be it is possible, but there is no proof yet that they are linked.’ 

He added that it was possible the explosion in cases could have been fuelled by visitors from other countries. 

Britons aged 12 or over must have either proof of a negative test 48 hours prior to arrival, or proof of being fully vaccinated at least 14 days beforehand. 

Aside from countries potentially coming off the green list, some could be going the other way, according to an analyst.

Italy, Germany and Poland are among the destinations most likely to be added to the Government’s green travel list, Robert Boyle, former director of strategy at British Airways’ parent company IAG, has predicted.

He wrote on his website www.gridpoint.consulting that ‘strong candidates’ from Europe to be added to the quarantine-free list also included Austria, Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia and Switzerland.

People arriving in the UK from green list destinations are not required to self-isolate.

There is a case for Hong Kong and Taiwan to be shifted onto the green list as well, he added, while Canada was also looking a decent bet, although the North American country does not currently allow visitors from the UK. 

British tourists took to Twitter to voice their frustration, with Rosie Scott from Brentwood in Essex saying: ‘Changing holiday from Crete to Israel to Crete to green list Mallorca… Mallorca now set to go amber. This is utter bulls***.’

Cara Hooton from Bristol tweeted: ‘@BorisJohnson, pls don’t ruin my Ibiza holiday I really need this. Love cara x’

Another potential holidaymaker tweeted: ‘Holiday to Turkey cancelled so started looking at Mallorca and now it’s looking likely it’ll go on the amber list… No holiday this year then.’

And Brandon Hale said: ‘Flying to Ibiza tomorrow. All tests are back negative – looks like it will be going back to amber. Are people still going to go? Or cancel? We’re still going.’

The UK is battling its own summer spike in cases, with a further 36,660 lab-confirmed Covid-19 cases reported as of 9am on Tuesday.

Government data also recorded a further 50 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for coronavirus as of Tuesday – the highest day-on-day increase since April 9 – taking the country’s total to 128,481.

The Government’s travel lists are expected to be updated on Thursday, although reports have suggested it could come 24 hours earlier, with Transport Secretary Grant Shapps due to face the media on Wednesday morning.

Travel expert Mr Boyle also predicted Indonesia and Sierra Leone could be moved from the amber list to the red list, while Bahrain could go in the opposite direction because of ‘case rates plummeting’.

People arriving in the UK from a red-list location must spend 11 nights at a quarantine hotel, at a cost of £1,750 for solo travellers.

The Balearic islands, including Ibiza (pictured), look doomed to be moved to higher restrictions only a fortnight after being approved for quarantine-free travel, with a decision possible as early as today

The Balearic islands, including Ibiza (pictured), look doomed to be moved to higher restrictions only a fortnight after being approved for quarantine-free travel, with a decision possible as early as today 

The current traffic light system has very few recognised holiday destinations on the 'green list' for Britons to visit

The current traffic light system has very few recognised holiday destinations on the ‘green list’ for Britons to visit

Mr Shapps' announcement means that for fully-vaccinated Britons the rules will be essentially the same for green and amber list countries

Mr Shapps’ announcement means that for fully-vaccinated Britons the rules will be essentially the same for green and amber list countries

British couple, 63 and 64, are turned away from flight to Malta despite having TWO jabs after receiving Indian-made version of AstraZeneca vaccine that is still not licensed by EU 

Steve and Glenda Hardy were turned away at Manchester Airport because Malta would not allow them to enter after they were unknowingly given an Indian-made version of the vaccine

Steve and Glenda Hardy were turned away at Manchester Airport because Malta would not allow them to enter after they were unknowingly given an Indian-made version of the vaccine

A British couple have been turned away from travelling to see their son in Malta after they were unknowingly given an Indian-made version of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Steve and Glenda Hardy, who received doses of the vaccine in March, were barred from flying by staff working for travel operator TUI at Manchester Airport on Friday.

The retired couple, from Hull, were trying to visit their son, who they have not seen for over a year.

The European Medicines Agency does not yet recognise the vaccine which is made at the Serum Institute of India, even though it is just as effective as AstraZeneca doses made elsewhere.

As a result, it is not recognised by the EU’s Digital Covid Certificate which allows those who are fully vaccinated to move through Europe without having to quarantine or undergo further testing.

Some European nations have unilaterally pledged to accept the jab but Malta — one of a handful of countries on the Government’s green list of travel destinations — has not agreed to admit visitors who have had it.

It comes despite Prime Minister Boris Johnson assuring that it would not be an issue for Britons travelling around the EU.

Earlier this month, Mr Johnson told Sky News: ‘I see no reason at all why the MHRA-approved vaccines should not be recognised as part of the vaccine passports.

‘I am very confident that will not prove to be a problem.’

It comes as a couple were barred from making a trip to Malta due to having been given an Indian-made batch of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, according to The Daily Telegraph.

Boris Johnson has recently looked to play down concerns that up to five million Britons could be barred from taking holidays in the European Union because their vaccinations are not recognised by its passport scheme.

The problem centres on doses made by the Serum Institute of India being known as Covishield.

Despite it being the same as other AstraZeneca vaccines, it has not been authorised by Europe’s regulator and is therefore not recognised by the EU.

The Prime Minister has previously stated he was ‘very confident’ Covishield would not cause an issue, but Steve and Glenda Hardy, 64 and 63, told the newspaper they were turned back at Manchester airport at 3.30am on Friday when they tried to board a flight to Malta.

The Hull couple, who were given Indian manufactured doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine in March, said they had to holiday in Llandudno, Wales, instead.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps today said Britons who received doses of the jab made in India should not be prevented from travelling.

Mr Shapps told BBC Breakfast the Government will take up the issue with authorities in Malta, adding: ‘It is not right and it shouldn’t be happening.

‘The medicines agency, the MHRA, have been very clear it doesn’t matter whether the AstraZeneca you have is made here or the Serum Institute in India, it is absolutely the same product, it provides exactly the same levels of protection from the virus.

‘So we will certainly speak to our Maltese colleagues to point all this out. Obviously it is up to them what they do. But we will be making the scientific point in the strongest possible terms there is no difference, we don’t recognise any difference.’

It comes as First Minister Mark Drakeford prepares to set out on Wednesday whether coronavirus restrictions can be eased in Wales, which has the lowest Covid rates in the UK.

Mr Drakeford is due to confirm whether the delayed move to Alert Level One – which was pushed back by four weeks – can now take place, in a statement to the Welsh Parliament on Wednesday afternoon.

Meanwhile, mask rules descended further into chaos today as Grant Shapps backed London Mayor Sadiq Khan keeping them compulsory on the Tube, buses and taxis – even though they are not required on trains from ‘Freedom Day’.

Mr Khan has broken ranks by announcing the move in the capital despite the government binning all legal restrictions across England from Monday.

However, the Transport Secretary played down the tensions this morning saying he had ‘expected’ operators to put in place ‘conditions of carriage’ to ensure that passengers were safe on public transport.

The increasingly confused situation means that passengers on trains in and out of London terminals will not need to wear masks during their journeys, but must while travelling around the city.

Unions have warned that the ‘botched’ approach to setting the rules will leave railway workers facing the threat of violence from angry customers.

Mr Khan told BBC Breakfast that around 400 enforcement officers would be deployed to check people are still wearing masks in the capital.

‘It’s not perfect. [It] would have been better if national rules applied across the country to avoid any confusion,’ he said.

‘The government for their own reasons have decided not to do that.’

Asked about the lack of restrictions on services from outside the city, Mr Khan said: ‘A number of services that come into London are not my responsibility. ‘If you are in London, you need to follow the rules.’

Family are ‘prepared to jump through the necessary hoops’ to enjoy a holiday to Mallorca even if it moves to amber list

A family of four who are planning to go to Mallorca next week have said they are ‘prepared the jump through necessary hoops’ after booking a last-minute trip to the island when their break to Portugal was cancelled.

Verity Blair, 34, a sales executive from Haslemere in Surrey, and her partner Alex James, 33, have both had one Covid-19 jab each and are still going to travel to Mallorca on Tuesday even if it goes onto the amber list, and then self-isolate for ten days once home.

Alex James, 33, and Verity Blair, 34, from Haslemere in Surrey, with their twins Penelope (left) and Sofia (right)

Alex James, 33, and Verity Blair, 34, from Haslemere in Surrey, with their twins Penelope (left) and Sofia (right)

Ms Blair – who had twins Penelope and Sofia with Mr James – works for an American company with no UK office, so it will not have an impact on her job.

She told MailOnline this morning: ‘At this stage, we are prepared the jump through necessary hoops to enjoy our first family holiday.

‘We booked to go to Portugal a year ago before the girls had even arrived and were so excited about having a holiday with them, not thinking that a whole year on we would need to worry about restrictions.

‘However, when it became clear about a week ago that we wouldn’t be able to go to Portugal owing to their restrictions, we decided to book a last minute trip to Mallorca.

‘We picked Mallorca because it was on the green list, knowing that might change – but even if it changes to amber, we won’t mind isolating when we get home.

‘As we have become so used to that over the last 16 months, it feels like a small price to pay for a week away in the sunshine.

‘Taking a holiday at home just wouldn’t be the same, and when we explored holidaying in the UK it was nearly impossible to book something last minute, and what was left would have cost the same as getting abroad.

‘Luckily isolating at home won’t affect us work wise, as my company recently announced that we will never be required to work from an office again, and so will always enjoy the flexibility of working from home.’

What restrictions do other countries have on Britons visiting? 

FRANCE

Travellers who can prove they are fully vaccinated do not need an essential reason to travel to France and do not need to self-isolate on arrival. 

Anyone aged over 11 years must give evidence of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure, or a negative antigen test result taken within 48 hours of departure, as well as a ‘sworn statement’ they are not suffering from Covid symptoms and have not been in contact with confirmed cases in the preceding fortnight. 

SPAIN

Britons aged 12 or over must have either proof of a negative test 48 hours prior to arrival, or proof of being fully vaccinated at least 14 days beforehand.

ITALY

Anyone aged six or over who has been in the UK in the previous 14 days must present a negative test result from the past 48 hours.

They must also self-isolate for five days and take another test at the end of the period.

Those arriving without a negative test will need to self-isolate for 10 days and then have a test.

GREECE

Travellers from the UK can avoid quarantine requirements if they have proof of a negative PCR test up to 72 hours before arrival, a rapid antigen test within 48 hours, or that they have received two vaccine jabs at least 14 days earlier. 

It is also acceptable to show evidence of having recovered from coronavirus – such as a positive test from months earlier. 

PORTUGAL

All travellers, apart from children under 12, must have proof of a negative COVID-19 test to travel to or through mainland Portugal. 

If you have travelled from the UK to mainland Portugal, you must quarantine for 14 days in the place you are staying.

But this requirement is waived if people can show they are fully vaccinated, and children travelling with a vaccinated adult are exempt from quarantine.

In Madeira and Porto Santo tests are not required for people who are fully vaccinated.

GERMANY

Fully vaccinated Britons are exempt from quarantine, but must do a pre-departure digital registration.

Unvaccinated children under 12 years of age are allowed to enter Germany if they present proof of a negative test result and travel with at least one fully vaccinated parent.

UNITED STATES 

Since 16 March 2020, it is not possible for most British nationals to enter the US if they have been in the UK, Ireland, Schengen zone, Iran, Brazil, or China within the previous 14 days. 

Mask chaos as Grant Shapps BACKS London Mayor Sadiq Khan keeping them compulsory on the Tube and buses even though they are NOT required on trains from ‘Freedom Day’ – amid fears staff face violence from ‘confused’ passengers

Mask rules descended further into chaos today as Grant Shapps backed London Mayor Sadiq Khan keeping them compulsory on the Tube, buses and taxis – even though they are not required on trains from ‘Freedom Day’.

Mr Khan has broken ranks by announcing the move in the capital despite the government binning all legal restrictions across England from Monday.

However, the Transport Secretary played down the tensions this morning saying he had ‘expected’ operators to put in place ‘conditions of carriage’ to ensure that passengers were safe on public transport.

The increasingly confused situation means that passengers on trains in and out of London terminals will not need to wear masks during their journeys, but must while travelling around the city.

Unions have warned that the ‘botched’ approach to setting the rules will leave railway workers facing the threat of violence from angry customers.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has announced that masks will stay compulsory on the Tube, buses and taxis in the capital - even though they are not required on trains elsewhere from 'Freedom Day'

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has announced that masks will stay compulsory on the Tube, buses and taxis in the capital – even though they are not required on trains elsewhere from ‘Freedom Day’

Mr Khan told BBC Breakfast that around 400 enforcement officers would be deployed to check people are still wearing masks in the capital.

‘It’s not perfect. [It] would have been better if national rules applied across the country to avoid any confusion,’ he said.

‘The government for their own reasons have decided not to do that.’

Asked about the lack of restrictions on services from outside the city, Mr Khan said: ‘A number of services that come into London are not my responsibility. ‘If you are in London, you need to follow the rules.’

In his own round of interviews this morning, Mr Shapps said: ‘Whilst we are going from this being a legal requirement to guidelines, we do expect individual carriers to make sure they are putting in place whatever is appropriate for their network,’ he told Sky News.

‘The airlines have already said that you will need to carry on wearing masks on those. It is very much in line with what we expected – indeed wanted – to happen.’

He added on Times Radio: ‘If you think about it, it makes sense..

‘We’ve moved from the point in the crisis where everything is set in law to a point where we put in place a degree of a personal responsibility and also ask the carriers in this case – the transport carriers – to make clear the conditions of travel on their particular network.’

Masks will also remain compulsory in Scotland and Wales, but transport operators in the rest of the country have indicated they will not insist on passengers wearing them.

The coronavirus restrictions which will be removed from July 19

The coronavirus restrictions which will be removed from July 19 

The Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) said staff risked becoming ‘punchbags’ for irate travellers.

British couple, 63 and 64, are turned away from flight to Malta despite having TWO jabs after receiving Indian-made version of AstraZeneca vaccine that is still not licensed by EU 

A British couple have been turned away from travelling to see their son in Malta after they were unknowingly given an Indian-made version of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Steve and Glenda Hardy, who received doses of the vaccine in March, were barred from flying by staff working for travel operator TUI at Manchester Airport on Friday.

The retired couple, from Hull, were trying to visit their son, who they have not seen for over a year.

The European Medicines Agency does not yet recognise the vaccine which is made at the Serum Institute of India, even though it is just as effective as AstraZeneca doses made elsewhere.

As a result, it is not recognised by the EU’s Digital Covid Certificate which allows those who are fully vaccinated to move through Europe without having to quarantine or undergo further testing.

Some European nations have unilaterally pledged to accept the jab but Malta — one of a handful of countries on the Government’s green list of travel destinations — has not agreed to admit visitors who have had it.

It comes despite Prime Minister Boris Johnson assuring that it would not be an issue for Britons travelling around the EU. 

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: ‘We now have the ludicrous position where a passenger travelling through London will have different rules on the tube and the main line services.

‘There will also be a change of policy on trains at the Welsh and Scottish borders which is a total nonsense, and will leave staff right at the sharp end and dangerously exposed when it comes to enforcement.

‘As a result of this chaotic approach we now have a situation where the London measures are not enforceable by law, which means RMT members will be thrown into a hostile and confrontational situation from next Monday at heightened risk of abuse and assault.’

Mr Khan’s move came as ministers clashed with government scientists over the decision to ditch mask laws next week.

Meanwhile, Commons leader Jacob Rees-Mogg added to the mixed messages by saying he would not wear one in Parliament when the requirement is lifted.

Mr Rees-Mogg said that people who have received both jabs of the vaccine have already done their ‘societal bit.’

‘This morning I wandered around the palace of Westminster wearing a mask, and met almost nobody. In those circumstances I will not be wearing a mask – what would be the point?,’ he said while speaking on the Conservative Home Podcast.

‘If you’ve had both vaccines, your risk of transmitting the disease is slight. So in a way you’ve done your societal bit by having the vaccine, as much as by wearing a mask, which is why I think it’s sensibly individual choice.’

His comments come amid mass confusion among businesses about whether or not to enforce their own voluntary mask-wearing policies when restrictions are lifted on July 19.

Bosses last night demanded clarity on whether such policies would be legal.

Some chains have already suggested they may bring in mask-wearing requirements for customers beyond July 19 – with some fearing a ‘Freedom Day free-for-all’ when the Government lifts Covid restrictions on Monday.

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