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UK’s “green list for safe travel” does not include Greece, France or Spain

Britain’s first “green list for safe travel” does not include Greece, France and Spain, meaning that holiday makers will have to quarantine 10 days upon their return to UK.. Britain announced a “first tentative step” Friday toward resuming international travel, saying U.K. citizens will be able to travel to countries including Portugal, Iceland and Israel later this month without having to quarantine upon their return. However,

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said the country’s current blanket ban on overseas vacations will be replaced on May 17 by a traffic-light system classifying countries as low, medium or high risk.

The “green list” of 12 low-risk territories also includes Gibraltar, the Faroe Islands and the Falkland Islands — but not major vacation destinations for Britons such as France, Italy, Spain and Greece, which are on the “amber” list. Britons traveling to those countries, and many others including the United States and Canada, will have to self-isolate for 10 days when they return.

Britons hoping for an overseas vacation this summer without a quarantine do not have a lot to choose from. Several countries on the green list are still closed to British visitors, including Australia, New Zealand and Singapore.

“This is not a list generated and created to think about where people want to lie on beaches and then twist the science to fit it,” Shapps said at a news conference.

He said the list would be reviewed regularly and would likely be expanded.

“We in this country have managed to construct a fortress against COVID. But the disease is still prevalent in other parts of the world, most notably at the moment in India,” he said.

“That’s why today’s announcement, removing the ‘stay in the U.K.’ restrictions from May 17, is necessarily cautious,” he said.

All but essential travel from Britain remains barred to “red list” countries with severe outbreaks, including India and South Africa, and people returning from them face 10 days of mandatory quarantine in a supervised hotel. On Friday the British government added Nepal, the Maldives and Turkey to that list.

via AP

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9 comments

  1. What is the use of putting countries on a “green” list if these countries don’t let you in. No wonder everybody in the EU is glad the UK left if you see them make decisions like that.

    • I am lobbying Boris right now to put greece on the uk red list until all the foreign residents in greece are given a jab. It is outrageous that you are trying to open to tourists when you are withholding the jab from vulnerable old foreigners like us! It is a shame on greece. Under the greek rules we are NOT allowed an amka number and hence not allowed a jab. We DO NOT WANT A NUMBER!!!! we just want a jab. They say we can get a temporary one …..but have been waiting 13 weeks so far …….yea right greece!

      • You know there is a very simple solution to your issues.. if you don’t like it…

        • Yes indeed Grahame, there is always a tipping point, we can cope with the hilarious planning laws, the government that treats it’s people like small children and the tax laws that are totally biased in favor of the rich. It always seems so sad to us that the hottest place in europe has the least swimming pools and the country with the most islands and coastline has so few private boats. It is a big decision to sell up and move somewhere that we don’t feel unwelcome or discriminated against by the government but maybe this covid thing has shown us the true colours of greece……. the balance is tipping. It is a shame as we love the country and the people.

      • If you live here why do you not have a residence permit? It’s the first essential to get when you arrive.m

        • Margaret, we obviously have residence permits but the greek government do not allow us to get and AMKA number until we have a 10 yer residency permit which we are still waiting to get. If you don’t work here or have reached uk retirement age you cannot have an amka number at any price. We are legally here, have private health insurance and yet cannot have a jab! without an amka number we are not allowed a jab.

    • I couldn’t agree more with this, they are number crunching but the implications and consequences are far more disturbing and disrupting.Good Morning from Thailand…..

  2. Well if they were so glad they wanted us to leave why are they being so peevish – they did not want us to leave. They did not believe that anyone would not want engage in the non-democratic project that is the EU. That anyone would want to leave was a profound shock. The English ( and I say English advisedly) like the people that make their laws responsible to them – its a historic thing, we dont like dictators despots and bureaucrats mostly to the world’s historical benefit! I agree that is a shame the islands are not green listed but is the rest of the EU making Greek friendly decisions. Is Germany allowing non-quarantine travel – not that I had heard. Give the UK 3 weeks and I think you will find the islands green listed.

  3. I fully empathise with R. I did not have ten yr residency, I was not a pensioner, I did not have a job in Greece. But I have a residence card, a home in Greece, a husband who works and pays taxes in Greece (his amka ensured his vaccine in March but did not help me get mine). I have EU citizenship (it’s not just UK citizens impacted by this).
    I applied for a temporary amka as soon as the platform was opened. I now know they had some kind of system in place because almost two months later, April 27, I was emailed three times (corresponding to my several original applications online) and invited to apply for a temporary amka!! Which I immediately did. Again. This was almost two weeks ago. Nothing. The list # was over 17 thousand on April 27. I can only presume they are working their way through that list. But I implore Greece to open up vaccinations centres for everyone. Immediately. In this case, bureaucracy is foolish and dangerous. By all means request ID, a residence permit. Issue the vaccine first and foremost. Sort the paperwork (vaccine certificate) after – people will register just to get the certificate. But vaccines in arms now is the only way for Greece to avoid a health disaster and, correspondingly, an economic one. Reports of expats becoming sick and dying have started to filter through…..This will not get Greece on any ‘green’ list. This will not take Greece off category 4 risk in America. I hope you have enough for everyone. And Half an island vaccinated, with One dose is not enough. That means half are not safe and half are partially protected. That can mean a lot of illness yet to come when rules are relaxed.
    For several reasons, including a 90yr old father I’d not seen in 16 months, I took the decision to leave Greece to get my vaccine. Two weeks ago. I’m now waiting for my scheduled second dose later this month. The relief is indescribable. But, one thing is clear, in a country where there are many vaccinated people (& everyone who wants one has access), the push to reduce restrictions is palpable. So many more people in shops, restaurants, on the road, travelling. With masks and without. I.e. life returns to ‘normal’. I see it now, everyday. This works when many are fully vaccinated. But in a country (Greece) where people are being left out, delayed access, having to wait so long for both doses (cutting time to two months was smart) this is a potential catastrophe. May 15 the genie will be out of the bottle. People Will become more careless. Tourists will be careless. Mask enforcement almost impossible (at least when tourist numbers crop up). The UK is right to wait on ‘green’ . America is right to be cautious regarding Greece as a safe destination. At least for now. Tests in and out remain a must. And Greece must offer vaccines to everyone. Today. Regardless of amka. The more people vaccinated will help protect everyone – even those who won’t get it (I know many Greeks who won’t) . Let the expats help you do this! Most would go today if you offered it.
    So many people want to visit Greece this summer. Don’t waste an opportunity to revive the economy. Open up vaccinations to all (I pray you have enough to do this)….Make Greece a safe destination. And do it now. Today.