Airlines are planning en masse additional flights from the UK to Southern Europe, now that British people can go on holiday in a few places. Recently, in southern Europe, they were only allowed to go to the tiny Gibraltar without quarantine on their return. Now the Balearic Islands, Madeira and Malta are also on the green list.
Some non-European islands are also returning to green areas: Antigua, Barbados, Grenada, Dominica and the Cayman Islands. Due to the green colour, British people do not have to be quarantined when they return from those areas, although tests are necessary on the return.
The British travel industry reacted with mixed feelings. On the one hand there is joy that the British can go on holiday in southern Europe again, but on the other hand the trauma of early June, when Portugal suddenly went from Green to Orange because of the Delta variant. British holidaymakers had to rush home to avoid quarantine.
The Balearic Islands and Madeira will now – from 30 June – turn green again, but are on the ‘watchlist’. This means that they can turn orange again at any moment (the UK has only three colours: green, orange, red). This is in contrast to Malta, which is not on that watchlist. There are concerns that British people will hesitate to book a holiday.
Airlines seem to be less affected by those concerns. Since this was announced last night, they are planning massive extra flights to the Balearic Islands, Madeira and Malta. Ryanair reports that it adds 200,000 seats to those destinations, EasyJet 50,000 and also Wizz Air flies more often. All in all, it is already more than a thousand extra flights in 24 hours, and it is expected that this is only the beginning.
Prime Minister Johnson’s government has further promised that sometime later this summer there will be an exemption from quarantine for fully vaccinated British returning from Orange areas. Almost all of Europe, is on orange. However, it is not yet known exactly when this will be introduced. The government will come with more information next month.
However, it is already known that fully vaccinated British people can benefit from this scheme first, and only then, for example, fully vaccinated Europeans who want to travel to the UK.