Travel news latest: Holiday hopes rise as warnings against Corfu, Crete and Madeira are lifted

Travel news latest: Holiday hopes rise as warnings against Corfu, Crete and Madeira are lifted

Foreign summer holidays will pose ‘no risk’ to the UK’s own infection rate, provided that the destination’s case rate is not higher than our own, a leading epidemiologist and Government advisor has said.

“[If] by the summer, infection levels in France and Italy are the same sort of levels that they are here, then there is no risk associated with travelling overseas,” Professor Neil Ferguson told Radio Four’s Today programme.

“The risk comes from going from a place like the UK, with very low infection levels, to a place with much higher infection levels – and therefore having the risk of bringing infection back.”

Referencing the UK’s advanced inoculation programme, Professor Ferguson said the country is in a “good position to stick to the Government’s roadmap”, which aims to restart international travel on May 17. 

The Government is to release its ‘traffic light’ list this week, with travel industry leaders expecting Spain, Greece and France to be given the green light for restriction-free travel by June. The EU, too, plans to approve vaccinated visitors in time for summer getaways.

However on Monday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson played down hopes of an immediate mass getaway, saying that putting a significant number of countries on the “green list” from May 17 would risk an “influx of disease”

Scroll down for more on this, and today’s other top travel stories.

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Hope for summer holidays to Spain, Greece and France

British holidaymakers are expected to be freed to travel to Europe’s top holiday destinations next month, after the EU opens the door to vaccinated travellers from the start of June.

Spain, Greece and France are among countries that could be added to the safe “green list” by the end of June under the traffic light system being drawn up by Downing Street for international travel, The Telegraph can disclose.

However, when the first iteration of the list is published this week, it is expected to comprise of only a “tiny handful” of fewer than 10 highly vaccinated countries, such as Gibraltar, Malta, Israel and Iceland, which Britons will be able to visit from May 17 without having to quarantine on their return. Most of the rest of Europe will be on an “amber list”, requiring quarantine.

However, a government source said the three-weekly review of the “green list” would mean more countries, potentially including some of the most popular European holiday destinations, would be added to the list through June.

Charles Hymas has the full story.

Monday’s headlines

Welcome to today’s live travel blog. It has been a busy bank holiday weekend for travel, so let’s start with a quick recap of yesterday’s news: 

  • Portugal and Spain on green list? Thomas Cook boss hails ‘great progress’ of popular destinations
  • Foreign Office minister: Travel traffic light system will be done ‘at a pace that is safe’
  • Holiday islands expected to be kept off UK’s ‘green list’
  • Restrictions continue to ease in Wales
  • Leisure travel should be ‘discouraged’ this summer, more than 60 MPs say

Now, on with today’s headlines.