Gibraltar has been included on the UK’s “Green List” allowing holidaymakers to travel overseas from 17 May. Only 12 countries and territories made the list, while other popular destinations for British travellers – including Spain, France, Greece and Italy – are on the “amber list”, at least until the situation is reviewed in three weeks.
The traffic lights system announced by UK transport secretary Grant Shapps categorises countries as green, amber or red, in accordance with their number of COVID-19 cases and the success of vaccine rollouts.
Tourists travelling to green list destinations such as Gibraltar will still be required to take a private COVID-19 test before returning home to the UK (which can be either lateral flow or PCR) and complete a passenger locator form online, then take a second test on or before day two of their arrival back in England.
Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have decided to remain outside the system for the time being but, according to Shapps, all three of their chief medical officers agree with its principles. Shapps also said he hoped the cost of a PCR test would be reduced to under £50 per person.
As for amber destinations, “non-essential” travel from the UK remains banned, and those permitted to travel will have to self-isolate on their return to the UK; while returnees from red-categorised countries and territories will be required to go into hotel quarantine, at their own expense.
Welcoming the announcement, minister for tourism Vijay Daryanani said, “It is excellent news that Gibraltar has been placed on the green list for travel and we are grateful to the British Government for this. It is a great opportunity for our British friends to visit our homeland and enjoy our wonderful Gibraltarian hospitality.
“This is also a tremendous boost for our hospitality, leisure and business sectors. The government has worked extremely hard to provide unprecedented connectivity from the UK to Gibraltar Airport and I look forward to welcoming tourists to enjoy their British staycation in the Mediterranean.”
Added chief minister Fabian Picardo, “This is a significant opportunity to see the arrival of tourism to help the sector which has been so affected for the past 15 months. It is also hugely important for our family, social, business and other commercial links with the United Kingdom.
“I believe this will be good also for our retailers and will help even further cement our enduring, unbreakable ties with the people of the United Kingdom. It is also a demonstration of the very hard work done in Gibraltar, with the support of the United Kingdom, on vaccinations.”
The UK government announced that, also from 17 May, the NHS app will include a feature allowing users to demonstrate they have had two vaccine doses. The hope is that this app will be accepted as proof of vaccination for UK tourists travelling overseas.
The 12 countries and territories on the green list are:
- Falkland Islands
- Faroe Islands
- New Zealand
- South Georgia and the Sandwich Islands
- St Helena, Tristan de Cunha and Ascension Island
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