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LONDON – Britain will release plans next month to allow fully vaccinated people to travel unrestricted to all countries except those with the highest risk of COVID-19 to boost a trip destroyed by the pandemic.

Airlines welcomed the move and were encouraged by news on Thursday evening that Britain would add Malta, Spain’s Balearic Islands and the Portuguese island of Madeira to its “green list” for safe places to travel from. June 30.

“Thanks to our successful vaccination program, our intention is that later in the summer fully vaccinated UK residents will not have to self-isolate when traveling from Amber List countries,” said the Minister of Transport Grant Shapps.

“We’ll give more details next month,” he tweeted.

“The Department of Transportation declined to say whether the easing of restrictions for fully vaccinated travelers would take place in a matter of weeks or months.

British Airways and Jet2.com have welcomed the news.

“We can’t afford another missed summer,” BA President and CEO Sean Doyle said in a statement.

“There are jobs at stake, Britons separated from their families and we cannot afford to waste the success of our vaccination program. “

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EasyJet said the reopening fell short of a safe and lasting easing of restrictions promised by the UK government.

“Science shows that traveling to many European countries would have very little impact on hospitalization and this is even more the case now as COVID cases in Europe have declined,” said the CEO of EasyJet, Johan Lundgren.

The government is under increasing pressure to ease restrictions as the peak holiday season of July and August approaches.

Pilots, cabin crew, travel agents and other travel industry workers staged protests on Wednesday, calling on the government to open more routes, while BA, easyJet and TUI backed a lawsuit putting involved the government’s travel rules.

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Britain has one of the fastest vaccination programs in the world, but so far the government has effectively blocked travel to most countries through quarantine and testing rules, prompting the industry to warn against multiple business failures and job losses.

RED LIST

“We are celebrating that the government’s work has paid off and Britain has appreciated the excellent health situation of the Balearic Islands to open it up as a safe destination for its citizens,” Spain Tourism Minister Reyes Maroto tweeted.

Eritrea, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Mongolia, Tunisia and Uganda will be added to Britain’s red list for the most severe travel restrictions, Shapps said.

Israel will be added to the Green Watch List, which means it could be demoted to an Amber List country, meaning travelers must self-isolate upon their return.

Any wider reopening of travel from the UK faces a new challenge as European destinations could start restricting entry.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday she would like European countries to force people entering Britain to self-quarantine, as is the case in Germany, citing the high prevalence of the more infectious variant of the Delta UK. (Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge, Sarah Young, Kate Holton and Michael Holden, Additional reporting by Clara-Laeila Laudette in Madrid Writing by Andy Bruce Editing by Philippa Fletcher and Alistair Bell)

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In-depth reporting on The Logic’s innovation economy, presented in partnership with the Financial Post.

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