//‘Safe countries’ not easily visited
testing at airports

‘Safe countries’ not easily visited

Just 25 of the 74 countries that make up the government’s list of safe destinations can actually be easily visited, new research has revealed.

The PC Agency and AudienceNet compiled that data on countries named by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), which published a list of 67 countries; and the Department for Transport (DfT), which published a list of 59 countries, plus 14 British Overseas Territories, as well as Ireland.

Grant Shapps, the transport secretary, had previously floated the idea of ‘air bridges’ – reciprocal arrangements between the UK and a selection European countries – before reports of a new traffic lights system emerged on July 2.

However, when the list did arrive it no longer categorised countries as green, amber and red – instead simply revealing a ‘travel corridors exemption list’, listing 74 countries and omitting others, such as the USA and Portugal.

Although the devolved nations are expected to accept the list, it currently only refers to travel from England.

The PC Agency found that only 25 of the list are easily accessible for English visitors in terms of having no quarantine or no restrictions to entry. 

The 25 are: Andorra, Belgium, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Faroe Islands, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Greenland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta (from July 15 ), Monaco, Netherlands, Poland, Reunion, San Marino, Serbia, South Georgia and Sandwich Islands, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey and Vatican City.

The PC Agency said that the rest of the countries on the lists are either closed to international flights, or impossible to enter without either quarantine of some kind or major testing procedures. It notes that St Lucia has which declared a State of National Emergency makes the list.  

Greece, which is on the list, will resume flights from the UK on July 15.

Paul Charles, CEO of The PC Agency travel consultancy said: “Consumers are confused by the two lists produced by government, as it’s just not clear which countries are actually accessible without having to quarantine on arrival. Our research shows that holidaymakers and business travellers from England can only enter 25 countries, out of 74 on the DfT list, without being quarantined.

“It’s vital that the government provides clarity to consumers who are booking, and provides just one list that is accurate and up-to-date in terms of where we can actually access.”