Two-thirds of the countries deemed clear or safe by the government for Brits to travel to cannot be accessed without some form of outbound travel restriction, it has been revealed.
On Friday (3 July), the Department for Transport (DfT) published a list of more than 70 UK inbound quarantine exemptions – countries from which Brits can currently return without being subject to the UK’s two-week quarantine on arrival requirement.
The list features 59 countries, 14 British overseas territories and Ireland, which is part of the Common Travel Area.
The Foreign Office, meanwhile, published a list of 67 destinations exempt from its global no-travel advisory, considered the de facto green light for travel.
However, many of the destinations still have their own travel restrictions in place such as quarantine or self-isolation on arrival, a Covid testing regime or pre-travel test requirement, or a wholesale flight ban.
It means despite being permitted, holiday travel to Australia and New Zealand remains firmly off the table, with both countries’ borders expected to be closed for the foreseeable future.
Closer to home, Greece and Cyprus are also ruled out, with Greece having extended its UK flight ban until at least 15 July, while Cyprus is barring entry to anyone who has been in the UK in the past 14 days.
Many of the British overseas territories making the lists are also off-limits due to border restrictions.
Analysis of the lists by the PC Agency and AudienceNet found just 25 were left once various restrictions were taken into account.
They are: Andorra; Belgium; Croatia; Czech Republic, Denmark, Faroe Islands; France; Germany; Gibraltar; Greenland; Italy; Liechtenstein; Luxembourg; Malta (from 15 July); Monaco; Netherlands; Poland; Reunion; San Marino; Serbia; South Georgia and Sandwich Islands; Spain; Switzerland; Turkey; and Vatican City.
The two lists currently only apply to travellers from England, with the devolved administrations of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland yet to make their own decisions on how to act on the schedules.
Paul Charles, PC Agency founder and chief executive and Quash Quarantine campaign spokesperson, said: "[We] carried out research into just how many of the countries on the FCO and DfT lists, published on Friday, are actually easily accessible for English visitors.
"We discovered just 25 out of the 74 named are; these are countries that don’t force English visitors to quarantine for 14 days, and don’t have any border controls that stop English visitors entering.
"The rest of the countries on the lists are either closed to international flights, or impossible to enter without either quarantine of some kind or major testing procedures – even Saint Lucia has a State of National Emergency until September, yet it’s on the lists."
Together, the PC Agency and AudienceNet has produced a map (above) highlighting those destinations currently open.