Ministers are preparing to life COVID restrictions on the Balearic Islands and Malta today amid a Cabinet row over dropping ‘amber list’ rules for those who are double jabbed.
However, even if the rules are loosened it will be of limited use as Britons face tough curbs imposed by other countries – who are alarmed at the spike in infections caused by the Indian variant.
Angela Merkel last night demanded all EU states follow Germany’s lead by requiring travellers from the UK to quarantine on arrival.
‘In our country, if you come from Great Britain you have to go into quarantine – and that’s not the case in every European country, that’s what I would like to see,’ she told the Bundestag newspaper.
But Environment Secretary George Eustice said Merkel’s stance was ‘unjustified’. ‘I’m not sure that such an approach would be justified given the highly advanced stage we are currently at now in terms of vaccination, with 80 per cent having had one jab and now 60 per cent having had the second jab,’ he told LBC radio.
More than five million Brits visit Mallorca, Ibiza and Menorca in a normal year. Scientists have signed off on declaring the Balearics safe enough for the green list, which would be a welcome relief for the travel industry.
However, there are lingering fears that the Government could overrule the advice, as it did when Malta was put forward for approval last month.
If there is agreement, tourists could be able to travel as soon as next Tuesday without isolating for up to 10 days on return.