Holidays: Simon Calder predicts new UK green list countries
Greek prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis ordered the German Chancellor to concentrate on accelerating her vaccines rollout rather than dreaming up new draconian travel restrictions. Berlin wants to slap a mandatory 14-day quarantine on all arrivals from the UK and has been lobbying for support this week at a summit of EU leaders in Brussels. The bloc’s prime ministers and presidents were left divided after Mrs Merkel and France’s hardline president Emmanuel Macron demanded more measures on Britain.
Member states are expected to declare the UK as a “variant area of concern” at a meeting on Monday.
EU health officials fear that the Delta variant, first discovered in India and dominant in Britain, could soon spread like wildfire across the bloc.
As a result, eurocrats and diplomats working on the EU’s Integrated Political Crisis Response committee could slap Britain on a travel “blacklist” to encourage member states to introduce tougher travel measures.
Germany and France will move on Monday to table binding travel restrictions for all zones where the Delta variant is prevalent.
Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis fumes at Angela Merkel’s plot to ban Britons from Europe
But countries reliant on tourism are set to stage a fight-back against the plans to ensure Britons can enjoy their summer holidays on the Continent.
Greece, Spain, Cyprus, Malta and Portugal are expected to be most vocal in opposing the measures, according to insiders.
At a post-summit news conference, Mr Mitsotakis said: “We should not adopt a logic of new restrictions, but on the contrary accelerate the vaccinations.
“Those who have been vaccinated are protected, those who have not been vaccinated are in danger.”
Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Angela Merkel at the EU Council summit in Brussels
He added: “As I said, those who have been vaccinated are protected, those who have not been vaccinated are in danger.”
Spain has railed against the Franco-German quarantine plan but could start demanding a negative test from all arriving Britons.
An official in the Balearics government, which covers Ibiza and Mallorca, said: “We have fought a long time for the British to come.”
Malta will also carry on letting UK travellers in, but only those fully vaccinated will be allowed to skip self-isolation.
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French President Emmanuel Macron also wants to ban Britons from the EU
Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte, whose country is making all British visitors quarantine, said it was up to each EU country to set its own entry requirements.
He told reporters: “Malta and Spain are being a bit more lenient maybe than some other member states but that’s up to them, they can do that.”
German Chancellor Mrs Merkel claimed that European countries are exploring new travel curbs because of their lower vaccination rates.
The veteran EU leader said: “In Great Britain and Israel, who are further ahead with the vaccination, we can see strongly increasing incidence rates and we also see that hospitalisations apparently increase with this variant.
“Therefore I can only continue to make a case to continue to be careful.
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Mr Macron, her closest ally in the battle to ban Britons, insisted that EU states “stay vigilant” and “harmonise our rules on the matter of opening to third countries” like the UK.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said: “We need to vaccinate, vaccinate vaccinate.
“That’s the best strategy against these variants.”
She added: “We are worried about the Delta variant.
“If you look at the UK, there the Delta variant is by now the dominant, 90 percent of the infections are the Delta variant.
“It is rapidly progressing also speeding up here.”