Holidays: Five new countries added to UK ‘air bridge’ list after Spain is axed

Last week, British holidaymakers were left disappointed after Spain was deemed unsafe for Britons to travel to without facing 14 days in quarantine on their return. The devastating move saw flights cancelled and hundreds of Britons’ summer holiday hopes dashed. On Monday, the UK updated its advice against all non-essential travel to Spain to include the Balearic and Canary Islands.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) says they now advise against all non-essential travel to Spain, which includes the Balearics and Canary Islands “based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks in the country.”

It comes as Spain’s infection rate soars to 35.1 cases per 100,000 people while the UK’s remains at 14.7.

As of yesterday, five new countries were added to the UK’s air bridge list which could spark hope for holidays abroad.

Slovakia, Slovenia, Estonia, Lithuania and St Vincent and the Grenadines have all been added to the ‘air bridge’ list.

This means that Britons returning from those countries will no longer have to quarantine for 14 days on their return to England.

The update was announced on Friday but came into force yesterday.

Britons can currently choose from a list of 31 countries that the FCO deems safe to travel to.

Twenty-nine of the destinations are in Europe while two are elsewhere.

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However, the list remains under constant review.

Some of the other countries on the list include British favourites such as France and Italy.

Conversely, Portugal remains exempt from the list.

Some of the countries included on the list still require Britons to complete forms and undergo coronavirus testing.

For example, the popular destination of Greece is asking visitors to fill in an online form.

If the form is not filled out, travellers may face fines of €500.

Britons are desperate for a holiday to Portugal but the country remains off the ‘air bridge’ list for now.

Portugal’s Prime Minister António Costa remains unhappy with the decision to exclude Portugal.

He tweeted a picture earlier this month comparing the UK’s coronavirus cases with that of the Algarve

He accompanied the tweet with the caption: “You are welcome to spend a safe holiday in the Algarve.”

Portugal’s Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva told BBC Radio 4: “We are very disappointed with the decision of the British authorities. We think it is senseless and unfair.

“It is quite absurd the UK has seven times more cases of Covid-19 than Portugal so we think this is not the way in which allies and friends are treated.”

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