LiveLIVE UPDATES: Coronavirus NI - These are seven most popular NI foreign holiday destinations most likely to be on UK 'green list'

These are seven of the most likely foreign holiday destinations that will feature in the United Kingdom government's 'green list' when it is published later this week.

Wednesday, 5th May 2021, 3:10 pm

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There is a real chance that some in Northern Ireland will be able to get away to sunnier and warmer climes this summer. (Photo: Presseye)

LIVE UPDATES: Coronavirus NI - These are seven most popular NI foreign holiday destinations most likely to be on UK ‘green list’

Last updated: Wednesday, 05 May, 2021, 15:15

These are seven most popular NI foreign holiday destinations most likely to be on UK ‘green list’

Gibraltar has announced it will not require UK tourists to be tested for coronavirus when foreign holidays resume.

Chief minister Fabian Picardo said the Rock offers a “great British staycation in the Mediterranean”.

He told Sky News: “Gibraltar has an open frontier with Spain and the rest of the European Union, and we don’t require PCR testing for those who come across our land frontier.

“We therefore don’t think it would be appropriate for us to require PCR testing of those who are coming from the United Kingdom, which has a higher vaccinated population and a lower incidence of Covid than the rest of the European Union.

“When you’re coming to Gibraltar you’re coming to a part of Britain, and therefore you’re going to be very welcome here without the need for a PCR test.

“It’s thanks to the United Kingdom Government that Gibraltar can proudly say that all of our adult population is now vaccinated.

“Gibraltar has zero cases of Covid today.”

Many popular European Union destinations will require UK visitors to have been vaccinated, received a recent negative test or have coronavirus antibodies.

Sharon Ehrlich Bershadsky, head of the Israeli government’s London tourist office, said the Middle Eastern country is “definitely ready and wants British tourists to visit”.

It will initially reopen its borders to groups of foreign tourists who have had both doses of a coronavirus vaccine from May 23.

Visitors will be required to take a serological test on arrival to prove their vaccination status, but Ms Bershadsky said this could be dropped for UK holidaymakers.

She said: “We will eliminate this test in the future, hopefully, by a bilateral agreement between countries.

“So for example, if Israel and the UK will have this agreement, the British tourists that come to Israel will not need this antibody test.

“I’m really, really hoping with the impressive advanced case of the vaccination here in the UK, we will get this agreement as soon as possible.”

Professor Adam Finn, a member of the Government’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, said unregulated international travel “can be very dangerous indeed” but there are steps which can minimise the risk.

He told Sky News: “We certainly got our hands very comprehensively burned in March 2020 when very large numbers of people returned from holidays in Europe with the virus and set the pandemic going in the UK at a very fast rate.

“So, we’ve learned our lesson that international travel in an unregulated way can be very dangerous indeed.

“I think while travel is inevitably going to start happening, we really do need to do everything we can to minimise the risks associated with that: think about the places where people are going to travel; to make sure that people have been immunised before they travel; and if necessary, implement quarantine and control measures to stop the virus being imported and spreading about.”

The Government is expected to announce on Friday that the ban on overseas leisure travel for people in England will be lifted on May 17.

It will publish the lists it will use as part of the new risk-based traffic light system, with different rules for returning travellers from green, amber and red destinations.

People arriving from a green location will not have quarantine, while those returning from somewhere on the amber list must self-isolate for at least five days.

The red list requires a 10-night stay in a quarantine hotel.

The green list could include destinations such as Portugal, Gibraltar, Israel and Malta.

Assessments will be based on a range of factors, including the proportion of a country’s population that has been vaccinated, rates of infection, emerging new variants, and the country’s access to reliable scientific data and genomic sequencing.

These are seven most popular NI foreign holiday destinations most likely to be on UK 'green list':

- Portugal (excluding the Azores)

- Spain’s Canary Islands

- Rhodes

- Kos

- Zante

- Corfu

- Crete

99 new infections and zero Covid-19 related deaths recorded in last 24 hours

The Department of Health has recorded no new Covid-19 related deaths and 99 new infections in the last 24 hours.

It means the death toll remains at 2,146.

The total number of individuals to test positive for Covid-19 over the last seven days and since the beginning of the pandemic now stands at 624 and 120,600 respectively.

On Wednesday there were 72 Covid-19 positive inpatients in hospital, of whom seven were in intensive care.

Meanwhile 1,397,087 vaccines have been administered. This includes 950,778 first doses and 446,309 second doses.

Fears high rates of Covid-19 in Donegal could spill into Northern Ireland

There are concerns that high rates of Covid-19 in Donegal could spill across the border and into Northern Ireland.

At 306.6 per 100,000 of the population, Donegal has the highest level of infection in the Republic of Ireland and across the border, the BT48 postcode area in Londonderry has the highest rate of infection in Northern Ireland with 175.8 per 100,000 of the population.

At present, people in Northern Ireland are travelling within the Common Travel Area (United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, Isle of Man and Channel Islands) should only do so if it is deemed essential.

There has been no sign of increased checkpoints on either side of the border.

Inter-county will be permitted in the Republic of Ireland on Monday May 10, 2021.

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