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Which countries could ban UK travellers due to soaring Covid cases? - INDEPENDENT UK

OCTOBER 21, 2021

Most countries are protecting themselves with a strict “JOT” policy – “Jabs Or Test,” requiring proof of full vaccination or a negative test taken shortly before arrival. Some demand both, and until half-term ends on 31 October that is likely to prevail.

And after that?

One big effect of the Moroccan move is to destabilise confidence – to bring back unhappy memories of the sudden changes that have haunted travellers, wrecking plans and increasing anxiety that things could change quickly.

But I am confident that no significant new bans of this kind will come in immediately. Other half-term holidays should be safe from such sudden rule changes.

In November, though, some countries may conclude, roughly, “We aren’t expecting much tourism from the UK anyway – let’s keep them out for a month or so until things stabilise”.

Which countries could they be?

I have compared the Covid infection figures for Monday 18 October across the UK and 10 leading destinations.

While the UK is way ahead of all of them, Bulgaria, Croatia and Ireland are at least in the same ball-park, with rates between 55 and 63 per cent of British levels.

Greece and Cyprus are some way behind at 38 and 25 per cent of UK infection rates respectively.

Other popular destinations have far lower numbers. France has 11 per cent of British rates; Portugal 10 per cent; Italy 7 per cent; while Spain, our favourite holiday nation, has 5 per cent; and Malta just 4 per cent.

Malta has been fairly active in its restrictions on British travellers; if bans take effect, the Mediterranean island might well be among them.

But I imagine the governments in Valletta and other European capitals will be looking with concern - but not yet excessive alarm - at UK numbers, and hoping they subside by Christmas.

Will the US make a U-turn on its reopening to Brits?

I predict not. The US has said the 20-month ban on arrivals from the UK (and the rest of Europe) will end next month. From 8 November fully vaccinated travellers will be allowed in.

Although no details have been revealed about testing and other requirements, it is very likely that a lateral flow test will be required in the three days before departure to the US, with another possible afterwards. This is likely to be sufficient to satisfy the health authorities.


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