Green List UK - LIVE UPDATES - NI summer holiday dreams dashed as German Chancellor Angela Merkel calls for EU countries to introduce mandatory quarantine for UK visitors

Holidaymakers in Northern Ireland hopeful of jetting off to Europe for a summer holiday have been dealt a bitter blow after German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, called for other European Union countries to introduce mandatory quarantine for UK visitors - including those who have received two doses of the vaccine.

Thursday, 24th June 2021, 4:55 pm

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People travelling from Northern Ireland to Germany, even those who have received two doses of the vaccine, must adhere to strict quarantine rules.

Green List UK - LIVE UPDATES - NI summer holiday dreams dashed as German Chancellor Angela Merkel calls for EU countries to introduce mandatory quarantine for UK visitors

Last updated: Thursday, 01 January, 1970, 01:00

  • NI summer holiday dreams dashed as German Chancellor Angela Merkel calls for EU countries to introduce mandatory quarantine for UK visitors
  • There have been an additional 198 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Northern Ireland in the last 24 hours
  • Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza, Formentera and Malta due to be added to list of quarantine free destinations
  • Two new suspected outbreaks of Delta variant detected in Northern Ireland

NI summer holiday dreams dashed as German Chancellor Angela Merkel calls for EU countries to introduce mandatory quarantine for UK visitors

No 10 said it was up to individual countries to decide what coronavirus travel restrictions they impose on Britons.

It comes after German chancellor Angela Merkel told the Bundestag on Wednesday that she would like other EU countries to follow her lead in placing quarantine requirements on UK visitors.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman, asked what Boris Johnson made of the comments, said: “Currently it is down to individual EU member states to decide on the rules governing their borders.

“We are moving at speed through our vaccination programme to help us curb this latest variant and that will allow us to move to Step 4, and we are confident that over time it will bring cases down, and that’s the approach we are taking.

“We will continue to have discussions with our European partners on the reopening of international travel but we’re very confident that our vaccination programme is providing a good way forward.”

Pressed on whether Mr Johnson agreed with his German counterpart, the spokesman added: “It is a matter for individual countries to decide their own policies, as we do ours.”

DUP MP Carla Lockhart praises pandemic volunteers in Upper Bann

Almost 200 new infections in last 24 hours but Covid patients in ICU remains at zero

There have been an additional 198 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Northern Ireland.

No further deaths have been reported in the past 24 hours.

As of Thursday morning, there were 18 Covid-19 positive patients in hospital, none of whom were in intensive care.

Two new suspected outbreaks of Delta variant detected in Northern Ireland

Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza, Formentera and Malta due to be added to list of quarantine free destinations

Quarantine-free holidays to Malta, the Balearic Islands and Madeira could be permitted in an update to the Government’s foreign travel policy, according to analysts.

Holidaymakers and travel firms are hoping that several additions will be made to the green list on Thursday afternoon.

People arriving in the UK from green list destinations are not required to self-isolate, but there are currently no viable major tourist destinations in that tier.

Meanwhile, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has called for other European countries to follow her lead in placing quarantine requirements on Britons.

Environment Secretary George Eustice said her position was unjustified.

He told LBC: “I’m not sure that such an approach would be justified given the highly advanced stage we are currently at now in terms of vaccination, with 80% having had one jab and now 60% having had the second jab.”

Paul Charles, chief executive of travel consultancy The PC Agency, forecast that Malta and the Portuguese island of Madeira will be put on the UK’s green list.

He said he is “not expecting more than five countries to be added”, despite data indicating that “more are eligible”.

Robert Boyle, former director of strategy at British Airways’ parent company IAG, noted that several amber list countries have lower case rates than the UK, such as Malta, Poland, Germany, Moldova, Finland, Italy, Canada and the US.

But he added: “There were several countries that ought to have been added (to the green list) at the last review based on their case rates, and none were.

“So whether the traffic lights will remain stuck on amber/red at the next review is anyone’s guess at this point.”

Travellers arriving in the UK from amber locations must quarantine at home for 10 days.

Those returning from a red list country must enter a quarantine hotel at a cost of £1,750 for solo travellers.

Analyst Tim White said he expected a handful of destinations to be moved to the green tier on Thursday, including Malta, the Balearic Islands, Poland, Slovakia and the Greek islands of Corfu, Kefalonia and Santorini.

He cautioned that the “huge rise in UK cases” of Covid-19 are likely to result in Health Secretary Matt Hancock and Home Secretary Priti Patel “again trimming a few off the green list”.

Mr Hancock said earlier this week that the Government is “working on” plans to allow quarantine-free travel for fully vaccinated Britons returning from amber locations.

Asked about the prospect of restrictions being eased in the review, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps told the PA news agency: “Of course I very much hope the world could open up.

“We’ve got to follow the data, and that’s what we’ll be doing in the meetings over the next few days.”

As of 9am on Wednesday, there had been a further 16,135 lab-confirmed Covid-19 cases in the UK – the highest reported daily total since February 6.

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