Britain losing out in race to open borders to holidaymakers as EU nations lift restrictions

·2-min read
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Germany, Spain and Holland have on Thursday become the latest European countries to open their borders to British holidaymakers, prompting warnings that Britain is in danger of being left behind as it maintains tough restrictions on arrivals.

Germany from yesterday (thur) will admit anyone with double vaccinations without them having to do a PCR test - even if they come from a higher risk "amber" list country.

They will be exempt from quarantine while any incoming passenger who requires a test to enter will be able to have one free of charge.

Spain and the Netherlands have gone further by allowing anyone from countries with low infection rates to enter without having to do either a PCR test or to prove their vaccination status.

The Netherlands has set a threshold of fewer than 150 cases per 100,000 - which would include the UK - while Spain is considering 50 or 100 per 100,000.

By contrast, Britain requires anyone from a “green” list country to take a PCR test on or before the second day of their arrival in the UK, even if they have been fully vaccinated.

Only 12 countries or territories are currently on the green list including Portugal, Israel, Gibraltar and Iceland.

Anyone coming from an amber list country - which covers the vast majority of Europe - are required to quarantine for ten days and have two PCR tests on days two and eight of their self isolation.

The moves will pile pressure on the UK which stands out as having the toughest border regime by requiring PCR tests even for those who have been fully vaccinate.

Henry Smith, chair of the all party Future of Aviation group, said the moves by other European nations highlighted “the very real risk that our overly cautious reopening risks leaving the UK recovery behind and places UK aviation at a competitive disadvantage. 

  “It also reinforces that the Government must take urgent action to reduce the cost of testing through measures such as removing VAT and work urgently towards exempting vaccinated passengers from onerous restrictions.   

“Our aviation and travel industries will be vital to our economic recovery and placing them at a competitive disadvantage to our competitors makes no sense whatsoever and this must be considered at the highest levels of Government ahead of the first review point.”

 Watch: Should I book a holiday in 2021?

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