The news comes just days after the UK agreed to drop quarantine for fully jabbed arrivals from the EU and the US.
Britons arriving in Italy will need to provide a negative Covid test result and self-isolate for five days, in a continuation of the current quarantine rules.
Meanwhile, the transport secretary said this morning it was essential to have “painful” travel restrictions and a cautious approach to countries such as France to avoid the spread of a coronavirus variant that vaccinations might be less effective against.
“I’m looking forward to the whole world being more accessible,” Grant Shapps told Sky. “We’re moving in the right direction.”
The next traffic light reshuffle is expected next Wednesday or Thursday.
France is ‘amber plus’ due to Reunion… but Reunion is not
As France remains on the bespoke “amber plus” list due to the Beta variant in La Reunion, it turns out the island itself is… on the amber list. Which means double-jabbed Britons and Europeans can return from there with no quarantine at all.
Simon Calder has the lowdown on this most mangled of traffic light decisions here:
Cathy Adams30 July 2021 12:22
Saudi Arabia to open to vaccinated visitors
Saudi Arabia will reopen to fully vaccinated international tourists from Sunday, 1 August.
The kingdom closed abruptly to travellers in March 2020.
Visitors will need to provide evidence of completing a course of Astra Zeneca, Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccines – in the form of “an approved paper vaccination certificate, certified by the official health authorities in the issuing country”.
The NHS Covid pass letter, available free in the UK, will suffice.
Tourists must also provide a negative PCR test taken no more than 72 hours before departure for Saudi Arabia.
Simon Calder30 July 2021 12:08
Quarantine exemption ‘welcome step forward’
The Airport Operators Association has called the extension of quarantine exemption to include fully vaccinated travellers from the US and EU entering the Britain a “welcome step forward”.
Chief Executive Karen Dee said: “This is a significant and welcome step forward that will be a boost to airports, our inbound visitor economy and the many families who will be able to reunite after a long and difficult period.
“However, there remain considerable challenges for our airports and aviation sector and our road to recovery remains long. We urge the Government to work with industry to continue opening up travel by putting more countries on the green list, reduce the cost of testing and provide the much-needed financial support for the difficult months ahead.
“Our airports continue to be hit by the impacts of the pandemic and held back by an overly cautious approach to international travel. Without sector specific financial support our national recovery will be stalled and thousands of jobs put at risk.”
Helen Coffey30 July 2021 11:39
Italy extends quarantine rules for Britons
The Independent’s Helen Coffey has all the details on new entry requirements for Italy here:
Cathy Adams30 July 2021 10:29
Grant Shapps says France has variant problem as France attacks quarantine ‘madness’
The government has been accused of sowing confusion after Mr Shapps’ cabinet colleague Dominic Raab said the move was down to the prevalence of the Beta variant “in particular” in the French island of La Reunion – 6,000 miles from Paris.
The French government said keeping quarantine rules for travellers coming from France was “scientifically unsound”, while Brittany Ferries said it “madness” to base the policy on the Indian Ocean island.
Cathy Adams30 July 2021 09:57
Transport secretary says he knows rules are ‘painful’
France was hastily slung into a bespoke “amber plus” category on 16 July, two days after the last review of the green, amber and red lists for travel, mandating 10 days of quarantine for arrivals regardless of vaccination status. The decision was driven by a worry over rising cases of the Beta variant, first identified in South Africa.
Read the full story here:
Cathy Adams30 July 2021 09:47
‘First signs of recovery are visible’, says KLM
French-Dutch airline group Air France-KLM said Friday that the “first signs of recovery are visible” in bookings amid easing pandemic travel restrictions as it reported a second-quarter net loss of nearly 1.5 billion euros ($1.8 billion).
The group’s fleet of planes carried just over 7 million passengers in the year’s second quarter, a rise of 477 per cent compared to the same quarter last year, when strict lockdowns and travel restrictions slammed the brakes on the global aviation industry.
With many countries now easing those restrictions amid vaccination campaigns, travellers are taking to the skies once more.
“Reciprocity of borders reopening and the acceleration of the vaccination rollout worldwide, especially in the context of the rise of the delta variant, will play a key role in maintaining this momentum.” said group CEO Benjamin Smith.
Cathy Adams30 July 2021 09:30
IAG reports continued slump
In its half-year results the Anglo-Spanish firm, which also owns Iberia, Vueling and Aer Lingus of Ireland, blames “government restrictions and quarantine requirements” for the continued slump in aviation.
In the three months from April to June 2021, IAG made an operating loss of €967m (£826m), corresponding to over £9m per day.
Its half-year loss was €2,035 (£1,738m), with just 49.2 per cent of seats filled.
Read the full story here:
Simon Calder30 July 2021 08:57
Welcome to the travel live blog
Welcome to The Independent’s rolling travel coverage for Friday 30 July. Plenty to talk about, as always…
Cathy Adams30 July 2021 08:51