Travel Guides

Simon Calder’s latest expert answers to 36 of your green list travel questions


newFile 10

The travel correspondent of The Independent is often to be discovered within the stylish lounges of Mallorca, sharing a joke and a evenly chilled bottle of Segura Viudas cava with the forged of Love Island. But he paused the media banter for an hour to reply your urgent travel points dwell.

This is the compilation of the important thing questions and answers.

Quarantine questions


Q: If I’m coming back from Spain to UK on 17 July and am absolutely UK vaccinated, do I would like to self-isolate for a full 10 days, or can I cease on 19 July, assuming my day two take a look at is detrimental?


A: Anyone already quarantining when the brand new simpler guidelines for vaccinated British travellers start at 4am on Monday 19 July should proceed to self-isolate. You should full the entire sentence.


Q: What if a household of three (two mother and father and one three-year previous) fly again from an amber nation however solely of the mother and father is double-vaccinated? Do all three have to self-isolate or solely the grownup who’s unjabbed?


A: Only the father or mother who has not been absolutely jabbed want self-isolate.

Traffic gentle strikes

Q: Do you suppose France will flip green someday in August? When do you suppose England will settle for European residents who had been vaccinated exterior of the UK?

(*36*) N

A: France was mentioned as a attainable candidate for crimson list standing, in accordance to stories, so a green score is a great distance away.

My guess is that the UK will lastly settle for EU vaccination standing inside the first half of August. But I’m not going to take any bets on these two predictions.

Q: I’m getting married in Santorini finish of August. Do you suppose there’s any probability it may go crimson? I’ve been listening to rumours however I don’t perceive what’s behind them.

Very confused bride

A: Congratulations to you and your fiance(e). The Greek islands have been swinging round everywhere in phrases of an infection ranges, and there have been some very critical peaks: proper now I calculate Santorini has new instances at a price round twice as excessive because the UK.

Yet at this stage I’d be as relaxed as attainable as a result of case charges can fall in a short time. I’d fortunately e book to travel to that fantastic island for late August, and I hope every part goes forward splendidly.

Indian variant of AstraZeneca

Q: My airline has Malta nonetheless exhibiting as not accepting the Covishield/Indian made AstraZeneca vaccine. As three of our occasion have sadly had one dose of this vaccine, what can we do?

Nikki Staffs

A: I’ve the next assertion from the Maltese authorities, issued on Thursday morning. “Malta will allow persons from the UK to enter as long as they have the NHS Covid Pass. This includes persons who have had the two jabs of the AstraZeneca vaccines approved by the UK’S Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency.”

In different phrases, you probably have an NHS vaccination affirmation (eg on the app or the free NHS Covid letter) then Malta will now allow you to in.

Any airline that denies you boarding incorrectly might be liable to pay you compensation.

Q: Do you realize what the state of affairs is concerning the vaccine standing of these of us with the Indian AstraZeneca vaccine making an attempt go to France? I hoped to go to household there in August however am involved I received’t be let in.

Sue W

A: I’ve obtained precisely no confirmed instances of anybody with the Indian variant of the AstraZeneca jab having been turned away from France. I’ve additionally talked to ferry firms, they usually say they’re unaware of any such instances both. I’m going to France on the weekend with my Indian jab and I hope not to encounter any issues.

And on an analogous theme …

Q: Do you realize if France are actively turning travellers which have been vaccinated with Covishield away? I’m absolutely vaccinated however my second jab was the AstraZeneca Covishield one and I’m due to travel to France on vacation on 31 July. I’ve seen stories within the Telegraph as we speak that France, Italy and Croatia aren’t doubtless to settle for Covishield for some weeks but – do you could have any recommendation on what I ought to do?

Schofe P

A: As talked about earlier, the one nation for which I’m conscious there was any denying of boarding as a result of of the AstraZeneca/Serum Institute of India difficulty is Malta. If you hear that I get turned away this weekend, then fret, in any other case please don’t.

Jab journeys

Q: I’m due to fly from the UK to Greece on 16 August for 2 weeks. I’ll have had my second vaccine 5 days earlier than I depart.

I’m conscious I can’t be classed as absolutely vaccinated once I depart as 14 days is not going to have handed since my second jab so I’ll want to take a look at to enter Greece. However once I return to the UK, 14 days may have handed. So will I be classed as absolutely vaccinated then and subsequently give you the chance to keep away from quarantine?

Kay W

A: Both Greece and the UK recognise somebody as absolutely vaccinated solely once they have waited 14 days after the final jab. So, sure, you will have “either a negative PCR certificate from a testing laboratory, for a Covid-19 test taken no later than 72 hours before arrival or a negative antigen (rapid) certificate taken no longer than 48 hours before arrival”. I’d go for the the latter.

Coming again to the UK, the vaccine might be absolutely efficient and you may fortunately return with out self-isolation.

Q: My spouse has her maiden identify on passport and flight reserving and married identify on vaccine certificates. Will Spain settle for this as they don’t match? And if not is there a method round it as any take a look at can be in married identify additionally?

Dave 81

A: It’s a nightmare state of affairs, and one I requested the UK authorities to reply to on 10 July. I’m nonetheless ready. All I can recommend is taking you marriage certificates and every other supporting proof of your spouse’s twin identification.

Testing instances

Q: We’re in Mallorca in the intervening time (and having a beautiful time!) We know we’d like a pre-flight take a look at earlier than we return to the UK. But we’re not certain if it must be a PCR or antigen fast circulation one? The authorities web site says each suffice however absolutely the PCR one is preferable because it’s extra correct?

Geema 10

A: Go with the lateral circulation. Cheap and fast. You are much more doubtless to be contaminated within the UK than you’re in Mallorca.

Q: Flying again from Greece to the UK – do I would like to e book the day two take a look at earlier than I fly into the UK, or can I simply do that on my return?


A: You can’t full the passenger locator type for the UK with out having a PCR take a look at booked on day two, and you may’t get on a airplane to the UK with out a accomplished passenger locator type. So you will need to do it upfront.

Q: I need to fly again to the UK from Greece then the following day fly out of the UK once more. Do I would like to e book/pay/take a day two take a look at for my passenger locator type on return from Greece even once I received’t be within the UK on day two?


A: Unfortunately the passenger locator type – which you will need to full earlier than you travel to the UK – solely permits for no PCR take a look at in case you are persevering with your journey on the identical day. So I consider you will have to e book and pay for a day to take a look at, which you’ll take instantly on touchdown.

Q: I’m a bit uncertain with regards to the testing necessities. I’ve household in Spain and I’ve seen flights that depart the UK at 6pm on a Thursday and return at 4.30pm on the Sunday. I’m taking a take a look at within the UK prior to my flight on Thursday and return to the UK utilizing that take a look at. Would that be OK, or is the requirement that the take a look at is inside 72 hours of the time you depart for the UK? What would occur if I’m delayed a couple of hours?

Sean R

A: All good: you probably have a flight to the UK scheduled to depart on a Sunday, then you’ll be able to take the take a look at on the Thursday, Friday or Saturday. It can be very uncommon to have an eight-hour delay, probably scuppering the take a look at you are taking, so I’d proceed precisely as you plan. Buen viaje.

Q: Is the lengthy European weekender on once more for the double jabbed utilizing the outgoing take a look at completed within the UK? Test and fly on Tuesday, return on Friday direct again to the UK. It appears to be OK when studying the federal government web site – I’m simply involved concerning the use of their phrases “within three days of the original test”.

Paul M

A: Yes all wonderful. Any of the three days earlier than departure to the UK. I’m being examined on Friday for my return on Monday.

Q: Is there any probability that the requirement for a pre departure take a look at earlier than your flight again to England might be withdrawn this 12 months? I’m wanting to travel in September onwards.


A: Last Friday night I used to be making ready to travel to France. I used to be about to start the onerous and costly enterprise of checking out checks: one to get me into France and the identical one (as a result of it was a brief break) to fulfil the requirement for a pre-departure take a look at earlier than returning to the UK; and the pre-booked, post-arrival PCR take a look at.

In the tip it was all irrelevant as a result of of the federal government’s weird late-night determination to create a brand new class, “amber plus,” requiring quarantine from France. So as an alternative I travelled to Ireland on Monday, the day the republic opened to guests who’ve been doubly vaccinated.

I point out this as a result of it was a pleasure to travel from A to B and again once more with out having to procure and pay for checks; the one forms concerned was a easy passenger locator type for Ireland, by which nobody confirmed any curiosity.

But Ireland is the one international nation on the planet from which checks aren’t essential when travelling to the UK. Even from low-risk “green list” places, arriving travellers should take a look at earlier than travel to the UK and pay for a PCR take a look at on the day they get again, or one of the 2 following days. Typically these checks price £100 per particular person.

On Tuesday the easyJet chief govt, Johan Lundgren, stated: “Green should be green … There should not need to be any restrictions in place.” But I worry his attraction will fall on deaf ears.

I believe the pre-departure take a look at earlier than travel to the UK might be concerning the final one to go. Even although the federal government for a lot of months final 12 months maintained such a take a look at was utterly pointless, its tune appears to have modified utterly.

Test-to-fly has the added benefit of (hopefully) figuring out people who find themselves infectious and subsequently stopping them from boarding a flight.

The “Day 2 PCR test” is an costly waste for nearly everybody, particularly absolutely vaccinated people. It will go first, I reckon. Good riddance.

UK arrival guidelines

Q: Is there any hope that the UK authorities will kind out the problem with EU vaccine passports quickly. I’m absolutely vaccinated and but can’t see family members again within the UK as a result of I dwell in am amber nation (Germany). Related to this: why on earth is Germany not on the green list? I don’t perceive. Is it politics?

Ali Cuff

A: Only British vaccinations accepted as a result of the UK authorities desires to confirm all certificates, apparently. Hopefully will attain settlement/tech resolution with European Union quickly. The transport secretary, Grant Shapps, is due to say extra within the subsequent few days.

Every nation in Europe besides Cyprus has decrease coronavirus an infection charges than the UK. But the federal government insists “All classification changes are decided by ministers. These are informed by the latest data and analysis by the Joint Biosecurity Centre (JBC) and wider public health factors.”

American adventures

Q: I commuted backwards and forwards to the US for work for 10 years till the pandemic struck, are there any indicators I would me allowed again in any time quickly? I’ve been double jabbed since May and have a visa.

Jonny R

A: There’s chatter in a single day that President Biden could also be contemplating easing the proclamation that bans British guests going direct to the US. But nothing particular but, I’m afraid. Meanwhile you’ll be able to all the time launder your standing in Mexico for a pair of weeks, although be warned that carries some threat that the Americans may impose a ban on arrivals from their southern neighbour.

Should I pay the steadiness to Turkey?

Q: I’m due to go to Turkey in September. I’ve been requested for the steadiness of my vacation. If Turkey is the crimson zone, will Jet2 begin cancelling holidays to Turkey? Why have I received to pay the steadiness for a vacation that received’t occur?


A: Jet2 has been admirable all through the coronavirus pandemic in its buyer focus and good service. In the previous 36 hours the Leeds-based vacation firm has cancelled all its Turkey journeys up to and together with 11 August – the following doubtless date when it may be moved from crimson to amber.

It is just not unreasonable for travel companies to ask for the steadiness for a vacation in accordance with their circumstances. And, should you can afford to accomplish that, pay the steadiness. While I don’t know what’s going to occur within the subsequent few weeks, there’s a important chance that your journey will go forward as regular, by which case it is best to have a cheerful and protected vacation.

There is a few probability that the journey might be cancelled. If that occurs, you’ll be able to anticipate a full refund of the entire price of the journey inside two weeks.

It might sound counter-intuitive to pay out more cash to assure both a vacation or your a reimbursement, however that’s the method the system works. Deciding not to pay the steadiness would imply that you simply lose the deposit.

Travel insurance coverage is just not related. If the journey doesn’t go forward, the vacation firm should refund you.

Italian connections

Q: I would like to pay the steadiness for a visit to Italy, which is going on the primary week of August. When are we doubtless to discover out whether or not or not Italy will prolong its five-day quarantine rule (upon arrival) for UK travellers past its present date of 30 July?


A: See my earlier feedback about balances. Italy doubtless to say within the subsequent week or so what its coverage might be from 31 July.

Irish plans

Q: Please are you able to clarify the state of affairs about travel from Great Britain to Ireland. There’s so much of confusion. Can absolutely vaccinated travellers enter with out checks/quarantine from 19 July?


A: Three days away from the day once I hoped journeys from the UK to Ireland can be simpler, and I’m sorry to say I’m none the wiser.

Positive checks overseas

Q: Have you heard of any “test to release” procedures accessible should you do have a optimistic take a look at overseas? Or do most of Europe insist on the complete self isolation time scale ? We are travelling to Crete subsequent week so clearly specializing in Greece.

Sjm 34

A: If you obtain a optimistic end result from a Covid take a look at at any time, you will need to comply with the principles utilized by the well being authorities within the nation you’re in,

Here’s what I learn about testing optimistic in Greece: “Mandatory isolation if they test positive for SARS-Cov-2, following a sampling test. In this case, the travellers and their travel companions are accommodated in quarantine hotels, where they will undergo further PCR testing to confirm the initial diagnosis. Guests will stay in seclusion hotels for a maximum of 10 days. The expenses of the accommodation in quarantine hotels are covered by the Greek state.”

Which isn’t best nevertheless it’s significantly better than some nations, the place you cowl the price.

Q: What occurs should you’ve had Covid within the 30 days prior to your vacation and subsequently your take a look at to fly pre-return flight comes again optimistic however from earlier an infection. Would you could have to quarantine within the nation you’re coming back from?

Also should you made it again however day two take a look at positive- additionally due to earlier an infection, the place does that depart you? (My daughter has Covid now and we’re going to Greece in just below three weeks.)


A: As above, anybody heading abroad has to take the chance {that a} pre-departure to the UK take a look at might be optimistic – at which level it’s your obligation to inform the authorities within the nation you’re in and permit their guidelines to take the pure course.

Any optimistic PCR take a look at again within the UK will set off quarantine, I’m afraid.

Previous infections

Q: Please advise about travel after latest Covid an infection – PCR could also be optimistic for 90 days so how can I travel with my youngsters who’ve had it not too long ago? US make allowances for covid restoration – what are the U.Okay. doing about this? Massive difficulty for 1000’s of individuals.

Ridgeway 1

A: For test-before-travel again to the UK, don’t use a hypersensitive PCR take a look at – lateral circulation is cheaper, quicker and fewer doubtless to give the impression somebody is infectious when they don’t seem to be, I perceive.

Q: Do you realize if there might be any replace to steering on travel for these not too long ago recovered from Covid? Can take a look at optimistic for up to 90 days after, the EU and USA recognise the problem and permit proof of restoration however at present UK doesn’t.


A: The EU makes allowances for individuals not too long ago recovered from Covid, however as with so many facets of the coronavirus pandemic, the UK is an exception to customary follow. I can’t see this altering imminently. Sorry.

Red list requests

Q: Will Qatar or the UAE ever realistically come off the crimson list this 12 months?


A: Not in accordance to the transport secretary. Grant Shapps says they’re crimson as a result of they’re international aviation hubs. I see no prospect of this altering by the tip of the 12 months.

Q: Thoughts on the Maldives being downgraded to the amber list earlier than September? We are due to go there for our honeymoon

A Smith 92

A: Maldives has a superb probability of reverting to amber in August. So preserve the hope alive. Be warned that if your flights are through Dubai or Doha, you may be required to go into resort quarantine on arrival within the UK as a result of they’re crimson listed.

Q: We are due to go to Mallorca on 30 July for every week. Can the UK authorities ship it straight to crimson earlier than the following evaluation ? I’m fearful about going from amber to crimson with little discover.

Rachy 10

A: There has been so much of hypothesis that Mallorca and the opposite Balearics may go onto the crimson list, requiring resort quarantine. I believe that is extremely unlikely, largely as a result of I don’t consider the “managed quarantine” system within the UK would give you the chance to deal with tens of 1000’s of individuals getting back from the Spanish islands and going straight into accommodations for 11 nights.

But of course nothing is for certain … having stated that, I’d fortunately go, on the idea that we’re doubtless to be given up to every week’s discover to get again in earlier than quarantine turns into necessary.

Spain hypothesis

Q: We fly to Mallorca for 2 weeks on 31 July. My spouse examined optimistic on 11 July, despite the fact that she is absolutely vaccinated. She has had hardly any signs however we’re fearful what’s going to occur if her PCR take a look at nonetheless exhibits optimistic once we take the take a look at to come again to UK?

Jon W

A: All I’ll do at this stage is re-state that you do not want to take a PCR take a look at to get on a airplane prepare or ferry again to the UK. A much less delicate lateral circulation take a look at will suffice.

Q: I’ve an condo booked in Gran Canaria on 20 August for 11 nights however can solely cancel till 3 August. Should I cancel in case Spain will get placed on the crimson list? I’ve seen some good offers in Jamaica within the center of August with first selection do you suppose this might be a safer wager?

Aidan 436

A: I really like Jamaica, however at this stage I’m definitely not planning to go to the island imminently. Partly that’s as a result of I discover summer time within the Caribbean unpleasant as a result of of the new, humid local weather – a world away from the ocean breezes of the canaries. As talked about earlier, I believe it most unlikely that any half of Spain might be added to the crimson list, and would very fortunately e book the Canaries for late August.

Q: We are double jabbed and travelling by ferry to Spain after which driving to the Algarve. You don’t want a take a look at for Spain however should you flew straight into Portugal you do even in case you are vaccinated. The Spain/Portugal border is open with no checks. Will you be anticipated to have a take a look at beforehand or is that this the “Spanish swerve”?

Bearders 22

A: People from the UK arriving in Portugal by street, as you may be, have to be absolutely vaccinated (accomplished not less than 14 days earlier) or quarantine for 2 weeks. So you do not want to take a look at.

My typical reminder that driving in continental Europe is much extra harmful than flying to your vacation spot. Stay protected.

Unaccompanied minors

Q: We learn that (UK) vaccinated individuals and kids below 18 might be in a position to keep away from quarantine upon return from amber list nations. Is that any baby or simply if accompanied by a vaccinated father or mother? Also what if an unvaccinated (or vaccinated overseas) particular person enters the UK and leaves the identical day? I dwell in Switzerland, questioning if I can go the the UK to deliver my children over.

Matt C

A: “Children under the age of 18 to be exempt from quarantine on returning to England from amber countries.” So unaccompanied below 18s all wonderful. And sure you’ll be able to flip up for as little as an hour should you like.

Post-Brexit passport issues

Q: When the UK authorities passport checker provides you a date for legitimate travel to Europe, is that this the precise date by which you’ll travel and return, or do you want to construct on high the requirement for a passport to have six months validity after return? I’ve contacted the Passport Office they usually received’t give me a solution.

Mel L

A: I’ve repeatedly informed the federal government that its on-line details about the validity of British passports within the European Union/Schengen space is mistaken. Officials don’t seem serious about correcting it. Generally the UK authorities’s (inaccurate) passport checker could be very conservative, so if it says you’re good to go then you definately might be fairly certain you’ll not encounter issues.



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