GREECE and Cyprus were left off the UK’s green list last week – and soaring cases mean they might miss the June traffic light reshuffle too.
Greece has seen the highest weekly percentage change in cases (17.5 per cent) in Europe, and Cyprus has the highest cases per million (499, compared to UK’s 31).
Greece and Cyprus are unlikely to be on the green list unless their case number come down[/caption]
Both countries are currently on the amber list, meaning returning Brits must quarantine for 10 days when arriving in the UK.
This could be reviewed on June 5, with hopes that both countries could be put onto the green list by the end of June.
Both countries have already said they wants Brits back – Greece is already welcoming vaccinated UK tourists while Cyprus has said they will from today.
Yet Greece reported 1,247 new cases yesterday while Cyprus reported 249 – as they both struggle to combat the second wave sweeping the countries.
Their vaccine rate is also further behind the UK’s 52 per cent for the first jab, with Greece at 24 per cent and Cyprus at 29 per cent.
Minas Hatzimichail, president of Hoteliers’ Association on the island of Kos, told local media that holiday booking cancellations in Greece were “pouring in” following the announcement.
Both countries have also started lifting their own lockdown restrictions, but are yet to be able to welcome British holidaymakers.
It came as easyJet boss Lohan Lundgren urged ministers to put tourist hotspots Greece and Spain on the green list from May 17.
Greece has seen a jump in Covid cases in recent weeks[/caption]
Brits are already being welcomed back, but the country remains off the green list[/caption]
Cyprus also needs to see daily Covid cases fall before opening to the UK[/caption]
Mr Lundgren said the decision to leave holiday favourites off the green list was “overly cautious” and “not justified by the evidence”.
He urged ministers to move Greece and Spain onto the list in three weeks as the risk of contracting Covid was “very low”.
Another senior Tory branded the traffic-light system a “disaster”, adding: “The vaccine programme will have covered everybody, but instead the decisions have been handed over to the scientists.”
Brian Strutto, of pilots’ union BALPA, also said the government’s cautious approach was “extremely disappointing for everyone who works in the travel sector and the millions of people who are desperate to jet away on holiday or business”.
He added: “Almost all tourist hotspots in Europe, including Spain, France and Greece, are in the amber category, which is as good as red as far as most tourists are concerned, with potential 10-day quarantine needed on return.”
Only 12 countries are on the green list, of which just four are letting Brits in.
Only Portugal, Gibraltar, Iceland and Israel will soon let Brits back into the country although are likely to require proof of both vaccine jabs.
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However, the majority of the countries on the list have their borders closed, including – Australia, New Zealand and Singapore.
The Faroe Islands, Falkland Islands and Brunei, also all on the green list, require quarantines on arrivals between 10 to 14 days.
Boris Johnson will announce further lockdown restrictions to be eased from May 17, affecting holidays in the UK and abroad.
In the UK, while self-catered holidays can go ahead, group trips and hotel stays will resume from next week.
Trips abroad will also resume to green list countries.