Spain could waive Covid tests for Britons from May 20

·32-min read
barcelona - Getty
barcelona - Getty

Spain plans to waive its PCR testing requirement for British visitors from May 20, if the UK's Covid-19 infection rate allows.

"[British holidaymakers] could come from May 20 onwards without a PCR if the incidence rates are below the range currently under review, which is around 50 [cases per 100,000 people]", Spain's tourism minister Maria Reyes Maroto told reporters after a weekly cabinet meeting on Tuesday.

Ms Reyes Maroto also said during a visit to Alicante on Monday that she thought Britons would be permitted to visit Spain for a holiday from next week.

“Spain is exercising a very active role within the European Union and campaigning for the updating of the restrictions on non-essential trips from outside the EU. The changes that are being discussed at the moment are going to mean tourists will be able to travel to Spain from the UK from May 20,” she said.

Spain is not among the 12 destinations on the UK’s quarantine-free 'green list', but could potentially move to 'green' from 'amber' when the UK Government reviews the categories in early June.

Among the initial 'green list' destinations, only Gibraltar has said it will allow Britons to visit without any testing or quarantine requirements when the UK lifts its ban on foreign holidays next Monday.

Scroll down for the latest travel updates.

04:27 PM

That's all for today

Thank you for joining us. Before we go, here's a brief reminder of today's top stories:

  • Scotland to ease restrictions further from May 17

  • US eases travel advisory for UK

  • NHS app will be ready for use as holiday vaccine passport

  • Jersey to classify England, Scotland and Wales as 'green'

  • Greece to step up island vaccinations

  • Germany to open up as Covid-19 cases fall

04:22 PM

9 chic hotels in the UK that still have availability for May and June

It’s official: hotels can fling open their doors from Monday, May 17, says Emma Beaumont. And oh how we’ve missed them. Though self-catering properties have valiantly filled the void for the past month, the excitement and indulgence of a good hotel stay simply can’t be matched.

As expected there’s been a rush on bookings – yes, Cornwall is out. However, there are still a number of fabulous options across the country for stays throughout May and June.

From seaside spots to city slickers, here are 9 top hotels to book for that first break

low wood
low wood

04:12 PM

Scottish green list announcement a "missed opportunity", say airport chiefs

Airport bosses have criticised Nicola Sturgeon for failing to expand Scotland's 'green list' of countries during her travel announcement earlier today.

The First Minister revealed that Scotland's ban on foreign travel will be lifted on May 17, to be replaced by a 'traffic light' system – in line with the rule changes announced for England last week.

Scotland's green list of countries, which people can travel from without having to self-isolate on arrival, also matches that announced by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps on Friday, with Portugal, Israel and Gibraltar among the 12 destinations named.

But executives at Edinburgh Airport and AGS Airports (which runs Glasgow and Aberdeen airports), dubbed the announcement a "missed opportunity", and argued that Ms Sturgeon should have expanded the list to other countries with low infection rates.

A joint statement read: "Whilst removing the travel ban is a step in the right direction it is very much a missed opportunity with so few countries making it onto the green list.

"We are again in the position of being a week away from a major change to operations and are waiting on details of how the Scottish Government wants this to work and how it will be managed. We need that detail as soon as possible to allow everyone to understand what is required."

03:55 PM

10 holidays you can actually go on next week

Holidays are go! From May 17 – next Monday – you can officially, legally, embark on a good old-fashioned getaway, writes Hazel Plush. But where on the ‘green list’ is actually accepting Britons, without the need for vaccination certificates, quarantine on arrival, or worries of whether borders will open in time?

Of England’s 12 ‘green’ destinations, just two will be accepting British leisure travellers from May 17 with minimal faff: Madeira and Gibraltar. Here, tourists need only take PCR tests on travelling/arrival – no quarantine, no vaccination certificates and no hassle.

albatroz hotel
albatroz hotel

The likes of Australia and Singapore remain closed to tourism, but even the closer ‘options’ come with unnecessary stress. As it stands, mainland Portugal is open to essential travel only (not holidays), Israel requires non-vaccinated travellers to quarantine for at least 10 days and Iceland asks for vaccine certificates or a whopping three PCR tests.

But, if you choose your destination wisely, you could be on holiday one week from now.

Here are some ideas – all with flights and accommodation included

03:38 PM

Travellers can use NHS app to show vaccine history – but will other countries accept it as proof?

The Government has confirmed that Britons will be able to use the NHS app to show their vaccination status when travelling abroad.

But Rory Boland, editor of Which? Travel, argues that this could cause chaos for holidaymakers if other countries refuse to accept the app as proof of inoculation.

He said:

Steps to simplify the process of proving your vaccine status will remove some of the admin involved before travelling and should reduce test costs, with some destinations removing the need for a pre-departure test if passengers can provide proof of vaccination.

Travellers do need urgent and concrete assurances from the Government as to whether this form of proof will be accepted by green list countries. With travel due to restart imminently, many will plan to provide vaccination status rather than a test to travel and they risk being turned away from the flight and holiday if the NHS app is not accepted by a destination country.

03:24 PM

When will hotels reopen for stays following lockdown rule changes?

Hotels in England can reopen fully to leisure guests on May 17, after the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, confirmed that step three of the roadmap out of lockdown will go ahead as planned.

Some hotel facilities such as outdoor dining and certain spa amenities were able to reopen from April 12, but overnight stays will now be possible as hospitality is able to reopen indoors.

Britons returning to the UK from 'red-list' countries (including Turkey and the Maldives, from May 12) must continue to pay for hotel quarantine in a bid to prevent new Covid variants reaching this country, though travel to 'green-list' destinations such as Portugal and Iceland will also be possible from May 17.

Our experts answer all the key questions

03:09 PM

Major airlines call for summit to speed UK-US travel

The chief executives of major US and UK passenger airlines have called for a summit with the two governments to speed the reopening of transatlantic travel.

"The airline industry needs adequate lead time to establish a plan for restarting air services, including scheduling aircraft and crews for these routes as well as for marketing and selling tickets," said the letter, which was released today.

It was signed by the chief executives of American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and JetBlue Airways and sent to the transport chiefs of both countries –Grant Shapps and Pete Buttigieg

Since March 2020, the United States has barred nearly all non-U.S. citizens who have recently been in the UK.

The letter said US and UK citizens "would benefit from the significant testing capability and the successful trials of digital applications to verify health credentials."

03:03 PM

The ‘green list’ holiday booking guide

With travellers in both England and Scotland permitted to take an overseas holiday from next week, you may be tempted to book a seat on the first available flight to a quarantine-free destination.

There are a number of steps to consider before you head abroad though. We break them down in our 'green list' holiday booking guide.

02:52 PM

La Scala opera house reopens

La Scala opera house in Milan reopened on Monday night after a six-month closure.

The audience of 500 was a quarter of the size of the theatre's usual capacity. A half-time tipple was also off the menu last night, as there was no intermission.

la scala - AFP via Getty Images
la scala - AFP via Getty Images

02:36 PM

ABTA: We welcome a 'coordinated approach' to travel restart

Scotland is to allow international holidays from May 17 and will, at least initially, follow the same 'green list' as England, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced today. This has been welcomed by the travel industry.

Mark Tanzer, chief executive of ABTA – The Travel Association, said:

ABTA welcomes confirmation from Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, that international travel can resume from 17 May. We have been calling for a broad alignment across the four nations and a coordinated approach on international travel, and it is welcome that the First Minister also signalled today an intention to follow this approach, while reserving the right to diverge, where necessary. We now look ahead to the next review of the country lists, where we hope more destinations will be opened up.

Outbound travel is worth nearly £2bn to the Scottish economy every year, and also underpins the viability of routes that bring valuable visitors to Scotland. It is important that the Scottish Government continues to engage with and support the industry through to recovery.

02:20 PM

Germany to open up as Covid-19 cases fall

Several German states, including the capital city Berlin, are planning to loosen coronavirus restrictions in coming days after more than six months of lockdown as the number of new infections keeps dropping nationwide.

The Berlin state government agreed on Tuesday to lift a night-time curfew and ease restrictions on shopping from May 19 and to allow outdoor dining from May 21, if the seven-day incidence remained below 100 for three consecutive days. It was at 94 in the German capital on Tuesday.

Other regions, such as the western state of Rhineland-Palatinate, are planning a three-stage opening scheme starting from Wednesday, with indoor restaurants opening on June 2 in areas of incidence below 50.

Health Minister Jens Spahn said federal states should go ahead with openings, especially for activities outdoor, but warned of the need to tighten again if infections rise again.

02:10 PM

The holiday big-hitters on the cusp of the green list

With Spain making more positive noises about the return of British holidaymakers, it's worth taking another look at the 'amber' destinations that could be heading for the green list later this summer.

Malta, Spain, France and Greece could all be on "the cusp", according to Hugh Morris.

01:53 PM

'Staycation this summer', Sturgeon advises Scottish holidaymakers

Scotland will restart foreign holidays under a traffic light system from May 17, with destinations classified as ‘red’, ‘amber’ or 'green'.

The new rules for international travel were announced by Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon today as part of Scotland’s further easing of lockdown restrictions from next Monday.

Reports had suggested that Scotland's traffic light system would come into effect a week later than England's, but the country looks set to follow the UK Government's plan for the resumption of travel, with the same initial 'green list'.

However, Ms Sturgeon said Scotland's residents should "think seriously" about whether they should travel abroad this summer.

"Even though the rules on non-essential travel are starting to change, that doesn't mean we're saying that non-essential international travel is desirable," she said.

"When it comes to holidays abroad, my advice continues to be to err on the side of caution and to staycation this summer," she added.

01:38 PM

Virgin Atlantic sees 250pc spike in Israel bookings

Virgin Atlantic says it has seen a 250 per cent week-on-week surge in bookings between Heathrow and Tel Aviv after Israel was declared a green list destination.

tel aviv - iStock
tel aviv - iStock

Interest in the Caribbean remains strong despite its current amber classification, with Antigua and Barbados proving to be the two most popular destinations for later in 2021.

The carrier is increasing frequency of flights to Tel Aviv with a daily in June from four times a week, going up to twice daily in July.

01:30 PM

Spain plans to allow Britons to enter without PCR test from May 20

Spain plans to lift its requirement for Britons to present a negative coronavirus PCR test upon arrival from May 20, provided that the infection rates keep declining, the Spanish tourism minister said on Tuesday.

"They could come from May 20 onwards without a PCR if the incidence rates are below the range currently under review, which is around 50" cases per 100,000 people, Reyes Maroto told reporters after a weekly cabinet meeting.

01:16 PM

Australia's borders predicted to remain closed until mid-2022

It is likely that international travellers will be prevented from entering Australia for at least another year, officials have warned in the newly published federal budget.

Despite hopes that border restrictions would be relaxed later in 2021, a prediction buried in the budget papers states: “Inbound and outbound international travel is expected to remain low through to mid-2022, after which gradual recovery in international tourism is assumed to occur.”

Only Australian citizens and permanent residents are currently permitted to enter the country, with all arrivals required to spend 14 days in a quarantine hotel.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has also indicated that international travel will only properly resume once a vaccine passport system has been rolled out.

12:57 PM

Guilt trips: Should I be booking a holiday on the amber list?

The traffic light system has been activated by the Government, and now the state of overseas holidays from May 17 is as clear as mud.

We know that from next Monday, British holidaymakers will be able to return from countries on the green list without the need to quarantine.

However, we do not yet know that all of those nations will let us in; that Portugal has not yet confirmed when it will reopen to UK travellers is of the most concern.

But of more interest is the list on which most of our favourite destinations reside, the amber list; currently home to Spain, France, Italy et al. And whether you can actually go on holiday to these countries.

Hugh Morris tries to answer all the key questions.

lake garda - Francesco Riccardo Iacomino/Moment RF
lake garda - Francesco Riccardo Iacomino/Moment RF

12:41 PM

Spike in Israel flight bookings following 'green list' announcement

Israel's inclusion on the 'green list' has seen a surge in flight bookings by travel-starved Britons, according to Virgin Atlantic.

The airline has reported a 250% week-on-week increase in seats sold on flights between Heathrow and Tel Aviv, following the announcement last week that travellers returning from Israel as of May 17 will no longer have to quarantine.

Juha Jarvinen, Virgin Atlantic's chief commercial officer, said: “We know there’s pent up demand to travel and our surge in bookings to Tel Aviv reflects this.

“We’ve seen a steady increase in interest throughout our network, particularly to Israel, as consumer confidence returns, allowing our customers to finally plan a much-needed sunny break or reconnect with family, friends and business colleagues."

Read more: The green list guide to holidays in Israel

12:25 PM

Scotland will use same 'green list' as England

Scotland will next week move to the same 'traffic light' system as England. This includes adopting the same 'green list' of destinations, from which you will be able to travel without having to quarantine.

Here's a reminder of the 12 countries and territories currently declared 'safe':

  1. Portugal (including the Azores and Madeira)

  2. Australia

  3. New Zealand

  4. Singapore

  5. Brunei

  6. Iceland

  7. Faroe Islands

  8. Gibraltar

  9. Falkland Islands

  10. South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands

  11. Saint Helena, Ascension & Tristan da Cunha

  12. Israel

12:11 PM

Belgium to allow indoor dining from June 9

Bars, restaurants, cinemas and fitness centres in Belgium will be allowed to welcome guests indoors from June 9, the broadcaster VRT reported on Tuesday.

The government was meeting to discuss a further easing of the restrictions imposed to curb the spread of coronavirus, including allowing more people to meet indoors, and permitting large summer festivals and travel abroad.

The health situation has improved in recent weeks, after the government closed shops and schools and banned foreign travel at the start of the year.

11:57 AM

Greece to step up island vaccinations: PM

Greece is stepping up vaccinations against Covid-19 of its island residents ahead of a planned May 14 launch to its tourism season, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said Tuesday.

"We are giving our islands priority... by opening up vaccination of their entire adult population earlier than the rest of Greece," he told regional governors via teleconference.

"The aim is to fully vaccinate permanent (island) residents by the end of June," Mitsotakis said.

Greece is keen to see crowds of holiday-makers flooding back to its idyllic islands, which are some of its most popular travel destinations.To this end, the Greek tourism minister has toured key target markets such as the United States and Russia and is currently holding talks in Britain.

11:37 AM

Hotels in Scotland can serve alcohol indoors from next week

Alcohol can be served indoors in hotels, pubs and restaurants in Scotland from next week, which will be allowed to stay open until 22:30.

11:31 AM

Scotland to ease restrictions further from May 17

Most of Scotland will move to Level 2 from next week, the Scottish First Minister has announced.

Moray will remain in Level 3 following a surge in cases and an increase in hospital admissions.

In the rest of the country, four people from two households will be able to meet indoors, six people from three households will be able to meet in a hospitality venue and eight people from eight houses will meet outdoors.

The area of Moray, where there has been a surge in cases, will likely remain in Level 3 - but a final decision will take place by the end of this week. Some islands will be downgraded even further to Level 1.

11:27 AM

A view from Frankfurt

A tram is reflected in a puddle after the city is almost empty shortly after the end of the curfew in central Frankfurt, Germany this morning.

frankfurt - AP
frankfurt - AP

11:09 AM

BA adds new summer flights due to 'overwhelming' interest

British Airways is expanding summer capacity with more than 90,000 extra seats to Spain, Greece and Turkey.

The new services from Heathrow are in response to “overwhelming” interest from customers on ba.com.

The 26 additional weekly flights will include destinations such as Corfu, Kos, Paphos, Rhodes, Lanzarote, Tenerife and Bodrum. New service Greece and the Canary Islands will be available to book from todayfor travel between June 21 and September 5. Bodrum in Turkey will also be available to fly to from July 18.

10:54 AM

88pc of dog owners unsure of EU travel rules, poll finds

Pet ownership has surged under lockdown, with some 17 million UK homes now including a pet.

Dog owners were polled about their level of preparedness in case they choose to travel abroad with their dog.

The research carried out for MoneySuperMarket revealed:

  • 88% of dog owners are unsure about new rules for taking their dogs to the EU

  • Over four fifths (86%) of dog owners intend to travel to the EU and 62% of them are planning on taking their dogs with them

  • 39% of dog owners are not sure if their pet insurance policy covers their dog getting sick abroad - a quarter (23%) aren’t covered at all

10:39 AM

How did Iceland suddenly become a hotspot for holidays?

It's about as far as you get from a classic fly and flop, yet it will be on the 'green list' from May 17. And there's a quirky charm in its volatile geology and experimental pop culture, writes Mark Stratton.

iceland - Getty
iceland - Getty

What I am sure of is that in the face of such setbacks, Icelandic tourism possesses bouncebackability. A nation confident about the primacy of its stunning nature just as a Viking would’ve felt having a machine-gun as opposed to a clunking bronze axe. By 2018 Iceland received a staggering 2.3 million tourists (seven times its population) courtesy of an evolution to holiday hotspot that has been mercurial.

My own first visit was an ill-timed affair during Spring in the mid-1990s on a recce during a short-lived spell with the now defunct, STA Travel. Reykjavik was frozen shut and miserably grey, possessing all the pizzaz and palatability of Icelandic hákarl (fermented shark). I made my way by bus to the snowbound second city of Akureyri but was barely able to step outside a B&B run by a divorcee who steamed me a dark lava bread in a volcanic fumarole in her garden. Back then, aurora borealis tours, were scarcely in their infancy. Yet an unlikely force in the heavens was stirring. Björk, to be precise.

Read the full story.

10:23 AM

Will your travel insurance be valid for an 'amber' destination?

It will depend on your policy and the advice of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) for your destination.

Holidaymakers should bear in mind that the Government advice is: "You should not travel to amber list countries or territories for leisure purposes."

You will also face additional test requirements, and up to 10 days of self-isolation, on your return to England.

A spokesperson for the Association of British Insurers said:

As the restrictions on overseas travel are eased, it is important for travellers to take out travel insurance, primarily to cover potentially very expensive overseas emergency medical treatment bills. Travellers should always be aware of and follow government advice. If you travel against FCDO advice, then your travel policy will likely be invalidated. Make sure to read your policy so you are aware of the scope of cover, as policies bought after the pandemic was declared are unlikely to cover cancellation as a result of Coronavirus as it is a known risk.

10:09 AM

Nicola Sturgeon to deliver update at 12:15pm

The Scottish First Minister will deliver a Covid update this afternoon, which is expected to include some detail on Scotland's approach to the resumption of overseas holidays.

To view this content, you'll need to update your privacy settings.
Please click here to do so.

09:53 AM

Virgin Atlantic partners with test provider for 'green' packages

Virgin Atlantic is to offer its customers "competitively priced" and "easy" at-home tests and packages, available in a single purchase and delivered to their door before departure for travel to 'green' and 'amber' destinations.

The airline said "green’ and "amber" packages will include every test needed for customers’ trips, based on the traffic light travel system requirement, with additional tests available tailored to the destination travellers are flying to.

There will be flexibility to change the bundle if the country’s tier changes, according to the carrier. Round-trip bundles are initially available for Israel, Nigeria and Grenada.

  • PCR tests will start from £55, with results within 24 hours of receipt at lab

  • A ‘Green list’ package to include everything needed for travel to Israel and returning to the UK is £152

  • Packages will be £179 for an ‘amber’ country, based on current test requirements

  • Packages will include a ‘test to carry’ rapid antigen test for return to the UK, which Virgin says will meet England’s pre-departure testing requirements.

​See more information on its testing options.

09:36 AM

'My 14-hour dash across Europe to get wed'

Annabel Fenwick Elliot writes about the hurdles she overcame to reach her partner in Germany.

annabel and bear - Annabel Fenwick Elliot
annabel and bear - Annabel Fenwick Elliot

There were 11 things that could go drastically wrong, I calculated, spread evenly along my planned voyage from London to Germany. But it had been three long months since I’d last seen my German fiance, Julius, and the stars had aligned in such a way that made it our last chance to get married and indeed spend any time together before the UK’s work-from-home edict ended and we’d be living and employed in the wrong countries again.

Read the full story.

09:19 AM

Hancock: Holidaymakers can use NHS app to 'prove' vaccine status

Holidaymakers who have had both doses of a coronavirus vaccine will be able to "prove" their status to other countries, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said. This reiterates what Grant Shapps, the transport secretary, said in his May 7 announcement on travel.

Mr Hancock confirmed that people in England who travel abroad will be able to use the NHS app to demonstrate they are fully vaccinated when the ban on overseas leisure travel is lifted on Monday.

The app is currently used to book medical appointments and order repeat prescriptions, and is different from the Covid-19 app. People who do not have access to a smartphone and know the country they are travelling to requires proof of vaccination status can call the NHS helpline 119 from Monday and ask for a letter to be posted to them.

Mr Hancock told Sky News: "The certification, being able to show that you've had a jab, is going to be necessary for people to be able to travel. So, we want to make sure people can get access to that proof, not least to show governments of other countries that you've had the jab if they require that in order to arrive."

09:04 AM

How the rules will change for travel to Jersey

The Channel Island is the only destination outside the UK to which Britons can legally travel for a holiday before May 17.

La Corbière lighthouse - Getty
La Corbière lighthouse - Getty

Jersey has a traffic light system in place for arrivals, with different rules applying to those coming from 'red', 'amber' and 'green' destinations (currently it depends on the regions in which travellers have stayed in overnight in the previous 14 days). All arrivals are offered a free PCR test, with those from 'green' regions only required to self-isolate until they receive a text message confirming a negative result.

From May 28, the classification will change to national and all of the UK (except Northern Ireland) will be classified as 'green'. Those arriving from 'green' areas will still require two negative PCR tests, one on day 0 and another on Day 8 of their stay and must isolate until they receive the results for the first test. Fully vaccinated passengers arriving from 'green' areas will also require a negative PCR test on the day of their arrival, however it will not be necessary for them to isolate while awaiting results.

Classifications for the UK will be reset on 28 May and retrospectively applied for 14 days. As such, to be classified as a 'green' arrival, travellers must have spent the previous 14 nights in 'green' regions based on the classification coming into effect on 28 May. (See more information on the Jersey government website).

  • Red, Amber and Green classifications for the rest of the world will also restart from 28 May

  • Jersey will align its classification as closely as possible to the UK's traffic light system

Read our guide to post-lockdown holidays in Jersey.

08:51 AM

Jersey to classify England, Scotland and Wales as 'green'

British holidaymakers from anywhere in the UK, bar Northern Ireland, will be able to travel to Jersey with a maximum of 12 hours self-isolation on arrival from May 28. They will receive a free PCR test and only need to isolate in their accommodation until they receive a negative result.

The Channel Island is set to base its classifications by country, rather than region, from May 28.

Chief Minister, Senator John Le Fondré, said:

Infection rates across the UK have been on a downward trend for the last couple of months, and this change to a national classification for the UK will be a welcome move for many Islanders and travellers visiting Jersey this summer. The new national classification for the UK will replace our current Lower Tier Local Authority (LTLA) regional breakdown. Moving from a LTLA classification to a national classification means most areas of the UK will move to a more lenient classification.

Based on the current data, this would mean that England, Wales and Scotland would be classified as Green, and Northern Ireland would be classified as Amber. The classifications will continue to be reviewed and published each week.

Amanda Burns, chief executive officer of Visit Jersey, said:

This news further strengthens Jersey's position as the go-to holiday destination this summer, with a travel process that is both safe and clear while also simplifying visitor requirements. Now, more than ever, we believe that visitors can enjoy a wonderful holiday experience, enjoying our pristine beaches, uninterrupted coastal paths, unique hospitality, and big spirit. We will continue to follow the government guidelines to ensure Jersey continues to be an ideal destination for both domestic and international travellers.

08:33 AM

Germany hopes for swift agreement on European Covid certificate

Germany hopes for a Covid-19 certificate that could allow citizens to travel more easily in the European Union to be agreed within weeks.

berlin - Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
berlin - Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

"This is not only important for countries depending on tourism but for all of us: It is...a clear signal for freedom of movement and for mobility in the European Union," German Europe Minister Michael Roth said ahead of a meeting with his EU counterparts on Tuesday in Brussels.

"We hope to reach a sensible agreement between the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council within the next weeks," he added, referring to the ongoing talks in the 27 nation bloc about the details of the "green certificate".

08:24 AM

The full list of places on the travel 'red list'

Nepal may have reopened Mount Everest to international travellers, but it will be added to the UK's "red list" from 4am May 12, alongside the Maldives and Turkey.

The country is soon to join the UK's red list, meaning direct flights will be banned and Britons returning from Nepal will be subject to a stay in a quarantine hotel.

The 43 hotel quarantine red list countries

  1. India

  2. South Africa

  3. DR Congo

  4. Tanzania

  5. Zimbabwe

  6. Botswana

  7. Eswatini

  8. Zambia

  9. Malawi

  10. Namibia

  11. Lesotho

  12. Mozambique

  13. Angola

  14. Rwanda

  15. Burundi

  16. Somalia

  17. Ethiopia

  18. United Arab Emirates (including Dubai)

  19. Oman

  20. Seychelles

  21. Qatar

  22. Panama

  23. Cape Verde

  24. Argentina

  25. Brazil

  26. Bolivia

  27. Chile

  28. Colombia

  29. Ecuador

  30. French Guiana

  31. Guyana

  32. Paraguay

  33. Peru

  34. Suriname

  35. Uruguay

  36. Venezuela

  37. The Philippines

  38. Pakistan

  39. Kenya

  40. Bangladesh

  41. Nepal

  42. Maldives

  43. Turkey

Find out more detail here.

08:10 AM

Foreigners return to Mount Everest as Nepal battles second wave

Foreigners climbed Mount Everest for the first time since Nepal's government reopened the mountain after it was shut last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, despite recent coronavirus cases at its base camp.

mount everest - Getty
mount everest - Getty

Thirty-eight climbers including ten Bahraini and two British mountaineers climbed the world's highest mountain on Tuesday, according to hiking companies. It comes as a few climbers were evacuated from the Everest base camp in April after they fell sick with COVID-19 symptoms as Nepal battles a devastating second wave of coronaviurs infections.

"Twelve foreign climbers scaled Sagarmatha today," Tourism Department official Mira Acharya told Reuters from the base camp, referring to the Nepali name of the peak.

Nepal closed the mountain in March 2020 due to the pandemic, but reopened for this year's climbing season starting in April, issuing a record of 408 permits granting access to the 8,848.86-metre (29,031.69-foot) peak.

08:00 AM

What the lockdown rule changes mean for spas reopening

Spas in England can reopen fully from May 17, after the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, confirmed that step three of the roadmap out of lockdown will go ahead as planned.

They were able to reopen partially from April 12, but without saunas and steam rooms, and hotels have not been able to open to leisure guests for overnight stays; this will change from May 17.

Charlotte Johnstone explains what you can look forward to.

07:52 AM

Hancock: Govt taking 'cautious approach' to easing travel rules

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said the Government is taking a "cautious approach" to easing travel restrictions to ensure the progress in combating coronavirus was not jeopardised by new variants from overseas.

Mr Hancock told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme: "We have some degree of confidence that the vaccine works effectively against the so-called Indian variant, and then against the South African variant we are a little bit more worried, but we don't have full data on those yet.

"These are reasons to take a cautious approach at the borders in order to protect the progress that we have made at home.

"People would be loath to see us put that at risk by going too fast at the borders. But on the other hand we are seeing countries get this virus under control in the same way we appear to be able to get it under control."

07:47 AM

NHS app will be ready for use as holiday vaccine passport

There are reports this morning on confirmation that the NHS app will be ready to be used as a digital vaccine passport (for those who have received both jabs) in time for passengers to go on their summer holidays from May 17.

However, this was first confirmed by Grant Shapps, the transport secretary, on May 7.

Here's our guide to the digital vaccine passports and what they mean for your holiday.

07:38 AM

May 17 reopening: everything you need to know about hotel stays

Hotels in England can reopen fully to leisure guests on May 17, after the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, confirmed that step three of the roadmap out of lockdown will go ahead as planned.

Some hotel facilities such as outdoor dining and certain spa amenities were able to reopen from April 12, but overnight stays will now be possible as hospitality is able to reopen indoors.

Britons returning to the UK from 'red-list' countries (including Turkey and the Maldives, from May 12) must continue to pay for hotel quarantine in a bid to prevent new Covid variants reaching this country, though travel to 'green-list' destinations such as Portugal and Iceland will also be possible from May 17.

Here we look at look at the key questions on the reopening of hotels.

07:27 AM

US eases travel advisory for UK

The US State Department said on Monday it has eased travel advisory ratings for the UK and Israel after raising both countries to its highest warning level last month.

The State Department lowered the UK to a “Level 3: Reconsider Travel” rating and lowered Israel to “Level 2 – Exercise Increased Caution.” It was the second reduction in Israel’s rating in recent weeks.

Last month, the State Department boosted the ratings of about 120 countries to “Level 4: Do Not Travel” to align with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) ratings. About 150 of 209 destinations rated by the State Department are listed at Level 4.

A coalition of US and European travel, airline, union, business and airport groups called in a letter last week for a full reopening of the US-UK air travel market “as soon as safely possible.”

Read out guide to travel to the US.

07:16 AM

Heathrow passenger numbers down 92pc

Heathrow airport lost nearly 6.3 million passengers in April compared with the same month in 2019.

Just 536,000 people travelled through the London airport last month, a 92 per cent reduction on the total for April 2019.

John Holland-Kaye, chief executive of Heathrow said: "The Government's green list is very welcome but they need to expand it massively in the next few weeks to include other low-risk markets such as the United States, and remove the need for fully-vaccinated passengers to take two expensive PCR tests.

"Border Force's claims that 'long queues in immigration are inevitable' smack of complacency. They are completely avoidable if ministers ensure that all desks are staffed at peak times."

07:13 AM

The destinations set to be added to the travel ‘green list’

The British Virgin Islands and a clutch of Caribbean countries are among a limited number of destinations likely be added to the "green list" for holidays, The Telegraph understands.

Hopes of a major expansion including popular destinations in France, Spain, Greece or Italy are, however, likely to be dashed when the Government reviews its current list for quarantine-free travel in three weeks.

It means any big summer holiday getaway to the continent for Britons is likely to be delayed until July or even August.

The nations that could be added next month are the "near misses" for Friday's list, which was restricted to 12 countries and territories of which only Portugal, Israel, Iceland and Gibraltar could be described as holiday destinations. Most of the others were remote islands or shut to tourists.

Read the full story.

07:05 AM

What happened yesterday?

A recap of Monday's stories:

  • Travel traffic light list to be reviewed in June

  • Hotels and b&bs in England to reopen on May 17

  • Wizz Air resumes flights to green list destinations

  • Portugal to assess tourism reopening on May 13

  • Algarve tourism boss: 'There is plenty of availability for this summer'

  • Free lateral flow tests may not be approved for departing green list holidaymakers

Now onto today's travel news.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting