Fresh hope for holidaymakers seeking winter sun as Israel and UAE ease Covid travel rules

·2-min read
 (Svetlana Khalidullins /Pixabay)
(Svetlana Khalidullins /Pixabay)

Britons seeking some winter sun in the Middle East have been given fresh hope after Israel and Abu Dhabi announced plans to ease travel restrictions for holidaymakers.

Changes include Israel confirming it will allow foreign tour groups to visit from September 19 under a pilot programme, the tourism ministry has said.

Fully-vaccinated groups of up to 30 people from countries on its green, yellow and orange lists will be allowed to enter the country for some winter sun, according to the Telegraph.

It comes as Abu Dhabi scrapped its quarantine requirement for all double-jabbed arrivals.

Abu Dhabi has also listed the Republic of Ireland under its travel “green list”.

Previously, travellers from Britain had to isolate for up to 12 days on arrival in Abu Dhabi regardless of how many vaccines they had.

A view of the skyline at night of Dubai (PA)
A view of the skyline at night of Dubai (PA)

Holidaymakers must still quarantine for 14 days on arrival in Israel as the country currently have identified the UK as an “at risk” destination.

It came as a former British Airways executive said the government’s red list travel restrictions make no sense and should be “dismantled”.

Robert Boyle, who also worked as director of strategy for airline group IAG, said there was no justification for “locking people up in hotels at great expense”.

Arrivals from 63 countries including Turkey and Brazil remain on the red list which means they pay £2,285 for 11 nights in hotel quarantine.

Mr Boyle reasoned the UK should try to be more like Germany where the harshest travel restrictions are on a par to the UK’s amber list.

He told The Independent: “Classifications [in the UK] are changed on an artificial three-weekly cycle, with risk assessments managed and mediated by politicians.

“If the red list was abolished completely and only amber and green were retained, the UK’s border controls would still be more restrictive than Germany’s are today.”

He said the idea of a red list may have “made sense” at the start of the pandemic.

He added: “But like many Covid policies that were put in place at the height of the crisis, it is looking increasingly like something that should now be dismantled.”

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