Portugal: Algarve tourist chief welcomes British visitors
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Speaking this week, tourism chiefs in Greece and Spain called on the UK Government to place their islands on the green list amid the huge reliance on British holidaymakers. Due to the importance of British travellers, some EU chiefs in Spain and Greece have called the UK to treat the islands separately from the mainland. Iago Negueruela, tourism minister for the Balearic islands, asked the UK to regionalise its approach to travel measures.
He said: “The Spanish government shares our strategy that the islands are considered separately.
“We’re asking for it because we’ve maintained controls at ports and airports for our national travellers.
“The UK can have the tranquillity that we are controlling the access of those travellers when they enter the Balearic islands.
“That means for instance that someone coming from Andalusia would need to show a negative PCR test to come to Majorca.
“With such a low accumulated incidence of coronavirus, the fact we’ve retained control over ports and airports, and our ability to detect and control new strains, the security is much higher than many of the countries that have received a green light rating.”
Portugal and Gibraltar are the only EU states on the green list, meaning travellers do not need to quarantine when returning.
For every other state, UK travellers must take a Covid test before leaving, two when returning and quarantine for 10 days.
In order to encourage travellers, EU ambassadors have backed plans to allow non-essential travel from countries with low infection rates.
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They have also supported plans to allow non-essential travel from countries outside the EU for people who have been fully vaccinated.
Due to the low case rate on certain Greek islands, tourism minister Vicky Loizou insisted the UK will change its decision on the country.
Fourteen-day case rates for the Balearic islands have dropped to below 50 per 100,000 the second-lowest level among Spain’s 17 regions.
Majorca has an infection rate of 42.74 per 100,000, Ibiza 25.69, Formentera 16.51, and Menorca 76.02.
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The UK Government will review the list every two weeks before any changes come into effect a week later.
Last week, however, Boris Johnson said he did not expect many countries to be added to the green list anytime soon.
Mr Johnson said: “There’s a very limited list as you know and we will certainly be making sure that people travelling abroad will be subject to all the tests and constraints to prevent the virus being reimported.
“That’s why it’s such a tiny list of countries and I don’t expect we will be adding to it very rapidly.”
There is also concern domestically over the spread of the virus in areas such as Bolton and Blackburn due to the India variant.
The variant has caused cases to surge causing the two areas in question to have above-average transmission rates than most of the country.
If the case rates continue, some scientists have claimed the June 21 date may be delayed or local lockdowns may be brought in.
The Government is analysing data concerning the variant and will announce its decision in the coming weeks.
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