Insiders say the Balearic Islands and the Canary Islands are unlikely to be on the UK’s "green" list, even although their Covid rates are much lower than mainland Spain.
Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, said last month that the Government’s new traffic light system would treat islands independently, but now it seems the ‘Green’ list, which guarantees tourists quarantine-free travel, may be limited to a just a few countries including Gibraltar, Israel, Iceland, Malta and possibly Portugal.
Ministers from the Spanish, Greek and Portuguese islands have appealed to the UK Government to keep its word and create separate travel corridors when the ban on international travel is lifted on May 17.
If Spain, Greece, France and Italy and all their islands are on the ‘Amber’ list, travellers will have to quarantine at home for 10 days when they return to the UK.
"The British Government should take the epidemiological situation of separate regions into account, rather than different countries,” Government spokesperson and Tourism Minister, Iago Negueruela told the Telegraph newspaper. "We have the technology available to sequence the virus and its strains at a higher percentage than any other region and we have made huge efforts to contain the pandemic. Our epidemiological figures are amongst the best in Europe.”
"The islands policy was a lifesaver for the Sector last summer and we don’t want or need to go backwards when we have many more tools at our disposal now, not least our world-leading vaccination programme and rapid, cheaper testing,” Tim Alderslade, Chief Executive of Airlines UK told the Telegraph. "The islands themselves are desperate to welcome us to their shores and as long as their Covid numbers are low and we have reliable data on variants there is no reason, other than a caution that is not warranted by the data or science, why we wouldn’t want to continue with it from 17 May.”
The ‘Green’ list will be checked every three weeks and when the ‘traffic light’ system is reviewed on June 28, there is a possibility that holiday hotspots will be added and the need for PCR tests on return to the UK could be relaxed or even abolished.