Several destinations have moved to increase restrictions on UK visitors as the rapid spread of the Delta variant of Covid-19 causes concern.
Portugal and Hong Kong were among the countries to introduce new rules for arrivals from the UK in the wake of record cases of Delta variant infections across Britain, while hopes of a UK-US travel corridor this summer are said to be “fading rapidly”.
More positively, new health secretary Sajid Javid told MPs that 19 July would be the “end of the line” for Covid lockdown restrictions. Progress is also being made in negotiations between the UK and EU on recognising Covid status certificates.
I won’t delay end of Covid curbs beyond 19 July, says Javid
New health secretary Sajid Javid has vowed that 19 July will be the “end of the line” for Covid restrictions in England. The freshly appointed minister said the country would have to learn to live with the virus rather than continuing with restrictions. (The Times)
Portugal insists child travellers are vaccinated
Family holidays to Portugal are in doubt after it was revealed that all UK children aged 12 and over will have to be fully vaccinated against Covid or face quarantine when they arrive in the country. The new rules are being introduced by the Portuguese government because of fears about the spread of the Delta variant. (Daily Telegraph)
Hopes fade for UK-US summer travel
The prospect of a transatlantic travel corridor between the UK and US before the end of the summer are “fading rapidly” because of the surge in Covid cases in the UK and the fact US regulators have yet to approve the AstraZeneca vaccine. British officials had hoped an agreement with the US could be in place by 4 July but this looks increasingly unlikely, with September now seen as a more realistic timescale. (Financial Times)
Hong Kong bans all flights from the UK
The Chinese city is to ban all inbound flights from the UK starting on 1 July after it classified the UK as an “extremely high risk” country because of the spread of the Delta variant. The move came as several countries increased restrictions on UK visitors on Monday (28 June). (BBC News)
UK and EU near deal on Covid passports
Talks between the UK and EU on recognising Covid status certificates are making progress, raising hopes that fully vaccinated Britons will be able to travel to the continent this summer. Elsewhere, Germany has so far failed to convince popular EU destinations to pull an “emergency brake” on British travellers. (The Guardian)
More than 10 million Australians go into lockdown
The Australian cities of Brisbane and Perth have both gone into lockdown as the country battles to prevent the spread of the Delta variant of Covid. Sydney had already been placed into lockdown earlier this week. (CNN)