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The US has added some 130 countries to its Do Not Travel list, accounting for 80 per cent of the planet, raising concerns the country will not open a transatlantic corridor with the UK in May.
The United States’ State Department said the Covid-19 pandemic “continues to pose unprecedented risks to travellers” and urged Americans to “reconsider all travel abroad”. Travel to the remaining 20 per cent of countries is also discouraged.
The full list of banned destinations has not yet been made public, with guidance for each individual country expected next week, however, it dashes hopes for the introduction of a UK-US travel corridor from May 17, when the UK Government intends to resume overseas travel.
The UK is due to confirm its “green” list of countries on May 10, with the US expected to be one of the few places Britons can visit without the need to quarantine on return, but there has not yet been any official confirmation.
Last week a report by UK airlines highlighted that a ban on transatlantic travel costs the UK £23million a day. Virgin Atlantic CEO Shai Weiss said successful vaccine rollouts on both sides of the Atlantic presented “a clear opportunity to safely introduce a transatlantic corridor from 17 May.”
The US is the UK’s fourth most popular destination for overseas travel, with 4.8million Britons visiting in 2019.
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India’s scramble to beat travel deadline
India was placed on the UK’s travel “red list” on Monday, sparking a desperate scramble by families to beat the Friday 4am deadline to return and avoid hotel quarantine.
The standard £400 price for an economy flight from India to the UK skyrocketed to £2,000 due to shortages of tickets on nearly fully booked planes, according to travel agents handling the surge in demand.
More than 1,500 people a day are expected to arrive back in the UK before Friday after Matt Hancock announced the red list ban amid concerns over a spike in coronavirus cases in India and emergence of a new double mutant variant.
What happened yesterday?
- India added to UK’s red list
- France ‘working hard’ to reopen to vaccinated travellers
- Sturgeon warns travel traffic light system ‘poses risk’ from variants
- Holiday enquiries up 127pc since Gov report on travel, says Saga
- Australia and New Zealand open travel bubble
- Portugal, Switzerland and Slovenia ease Covid restrictions
- Covid tests for holidaymakers could fall below £50
Now, on with today’s news.