EU delays adding UK to approved travel list

EU ambassadors are concerned about a rise in cases of the highly transmissible Delta variant of Covid-19 in the UK and have opted to be cautious.

A young lady holding her travelling bag at the airport
The European Union’s white list of countries from where travellers are allowed to enter is not binding on member states, which can set their own travel conditions on tourists. File photo: Anna Shvets from Pexels

PRETORIA, June 3 (ANA) – The European Union has delayed adding the United Kingdom to a white list of countries allowing non-essential travel in the bloc.

The Guardian UK reported on Wednesday that the UK’s infection level meets the threshold to be added to the list, but EU ambassadors are concerned about a rise in cases of the highly transmissible Delta variant of Covid-19 first identified in India and have opted for caution.

The decision was made during a meeting of ambassadors in Brussels, Belgium, on Wednesday, the Guardian wrote, adding that Britons will have to wait another two weeks to learn whether they can book a holiday in the EU.

According to I News UK, Australia, Israel, New Zealand, Rwanda, Singapore, South Korea and Thailand are already on the list of countries whose citizens can be allowed in regardless of whether they have been vaccinated.

The white list is not binding on member states, which can set their own travel conditions on tourists. Individual EU countries can still opt to require a negative Covid-19 test from new arrivals or demand a period of self-isolation, I News UK reported.

Meanwhile, France and Germany have imposed quarantines on UK visitors, while Austria has banned them altogether.

However, a number of European countries, including Greece and Portugal, have said they will welcome British tourists coming for their summer holidays.

In May, Spain announced that it was lifting restrictions for summer tourists from the UK and Japan, according to the BBC.

Spain placed these countries on a list of tourists who won’t be affected by restrictions on non-essential travel and will not require a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test.

Nonetheless, the British broadcaster said the UK government still strongly advises against non-essential travel to Spain and other EU countries and has indicated that those who decide to travel will still have to quarantine on their return.

– African News Agency (ANA); Editing by Yaron Blecher

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