The travel industry continues to voice frustration and disappointment after the latest limited easing of coronavirus restrictions on overseas holidays.

The UK Government has added 14 new countries and territories to its green list of destinations from which travellers do not have to self-isolate on their return.

However, all but one – Malta – were also put on a watchlist, which means they are at risk of returning to the amber list.

While some popular hotspots – including Spain’s Balearic islands and a number of Caribbean destinations – are on the list, France, Greece, Italy and mainland Spain remain off limits.

In Wales, Eluned Morgan MS, minister for health, said the Welsh Government's advice continues to be not to travel overseas unless the journey is essential.

"We are aware of the UK Government’s proposals for easing restrictions for travellers who have received two vaccinations returning from amber list countries to England," she said, adding that the Welsh Government would make its own decision on the rules for fully vaccinated.

"We will weigh up all the available evidence and make a decision for Wales.

"Following the three-week review of the restrictions on international travel, we continue to follow the same traffic-light approach as the rest of the UK."


To add to the uncertainty, there were fears of potential new EU-wide restrictions on travellers from the UK over concerns about the spread of the Delta variant, just as cases on the continent are coming down.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been pressing EU leaders to impose stringent quarantine requirements of arrivals to the bloc from Britain, and told the German parliament on Wednesday:

“We have not yet managed to ensure that all 27 Member States have the same entry requirements for people arriving from virus variant areas, in this case Great Britain, but in other countries also.

“With us you have to be in quarantine when you come from the UK. This is by no means the case in every European country. But I would like that.”

The countries moved by the UK Government to the green list include Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Balearic Islands, Barbados, Bermuda, British Antarctic Territory, British Indian Ocean Territory, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Israel, Madeira, Malta, Montserrat, Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie and Oeno Islands, and the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Six countries – the Dominican Republic, Eritrea, Haiti, Mongolia, Tunisia and Uganda – are joining the red list. All changes to the lists will come into effect at 4am on Tuesday 30 June.  

Ms Morgan said the Welsh Government's message is clear. "This is the year to holiday at home. We’re calling on people to only travel overseas for essential reasons.

"We have all sacrificed so much to control the pandemic in Wales, we do not want to see the virus re-imported – or new variants come into the country – as a result of overseas travel."

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Additional reporting PA