Greece and Spain advance plans to let in British holidaymakers

Helen Coffey
·2-min read
<p>Corfu, Greece: Tourism sector to open from 15 May</p> (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Corfu, Greece: Tourism sector to open from 15 May

(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Popular European holiday destinations, including Spain and Greece, have been firming up plans to enable tourists to visit this summer.

Greece announced that its tourism sector will reopen on 15 May – two days before the UK will once again permit international leisure travel.

From the same day, the ban on travel between different regions of Greece will also be lifted.

The country has already eased quarantine restrictions on arrivals from certain countries; as of 19 April, travellers from the UK, US, UAE, Serbia, Israel, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland, as well as EU member states, have no need to self-isolate upon entering.

Spain has also reaffirmed its desire to open up to British holidaymakers for summer stays.

Tourism Minister Fernando Valdes told Sky News that the European nation “desperate” to welcome British visitors with open arms, and was cheered by the fast vaccination roll-out in the UK.

Mr Valdes said: “I think we will be ready here in Spain. We also think that the vaccination scheme in the UK is going pretty well, so hopefully we’ll be seeing this summer the restart of holidays.”

He added that vaccination certificates, which would prove holidaymakers have either been inoculated or show a negative Covid test result, are “going to help us”.

Mr Valdes insisted Spain is “pushing hard” to persuade the European Commission to reach agreements to reopen travel between “third parties such as the UK” and EU member states.

“If we reach these kind of agreements from the month of June, we will be able to have a summer,” he said.

The likelihood of summer holiday abroad going ahead has also been bolstered by the government’s announcement that coronavirus passports will be available “as soon as possible”.

A Department for Transport spokeswoman said: “We are working on a solution to enable residents to prove their Covid-19 status, including vaccination status, to other countries on the outbound leg.

”We are working on this as a priority and intend to have the solution ready as soon as possible.“

Various countries have stated they will welcome travellers minus testing or quarantine requirements, provided they can produce evidence of having had both vaccine jabs.

A health certificate or vaccine passport would facilitate foreign travel for inoculated Brits.

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