Holiday hopes as restrictions for hotspots Spain and Italy ‘could be eased in June’
Popular holiday hotspots including Spain and Italy could open up to Brit tourists by June under plans to review restrictions, it has been reported.
The Government’s Global Travel Taskforce has stopped short of confirming whether foreign holidays will be permitted from May 17 or which destinations people can visit without self-isolating on their return.
But hopes have been raised for June when restrictions will be reviewed as the taskforce recommends a traffic light system categorising countries based on their Covid-19 risk levels.
People coming back from the more strict ‘amber’ or ‘red’ list countries would still have to quarantine when back in the UK.
The government will review the plan for foreign travel on June 28, when rules on testing and quarantines could be relaxed for mid-tier amber countries, according to the Department for Transport.
Further reviews will take place no later than July 31 and October 1.
Popular European holiday hotspots such as Spain, Italy as well as Greece could be opened up to British travellers at the end of June, reports The Times.
Ministers are said to have also pledged to more than halve the cost of Covid tests which are required before and after travel.
Families looking at travelling are currently facing a huge £600 bill for coronavirus tests to be able to go abroad this summer – even if the country is on the “green list” for UK travel.
Each traveller will have to take at least two tests to be able to fly to and from “low-risk” destinations.
But it means arranging pre-departure tests could add at least £400 to the cost of a holiday abroad for a family of four and a second post-arrival test could add on a further £200.
Aviation bosses including Johan Lundgren, the chief executive of easyJet, have called for the use of cheaper lateral flow tests to reduce the cost for travellers after months of lockdown.
Boris Johnson has reportedly asked officials to consider using cheaper Covid testing in a bid to re-open foreign travel.
On Tuesday night the Prime Minister reportedly said he had asked officials to use the cheaper testing.
He said that he sees re-opening the holiday market as a ‘priority’ and wants to restart foreign travel from May 17.
The Prime Minster said: ‘I do think we want to make things as easy as we possibly can.
“I think the boss of easyJet is right to focus on this issue. We’re going to see what we can do to make things as flexible and as affordable as possible.”
Earlier this week the next steps in easing England out of lockdown were unveiled, with the government hoping to re-open foreign travel ‘as soon as possible’.
Announcing the taskforce’s findings, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps did confirm a traffic light system would be used to categorise countries based on risk, but the Department for Transport says it will not be until early next month that it will decide “which countries will be on which list”.
Mr Shapps also said the Government would work with the travel industry and private Covid testing providers to reduce the cost of foreign trips.
He said: “International travel is vital – it boosts businesses and underpins the UK economy – but more than that, it brings people together, connects families who have been kept apart, and allows us to explore new horizons.”
The Board of Airline Representatives in the UK welcomed the report, saying it would help airlines prepare for the return of international flying.
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