Tag Archives: borders

When will US borders open to UK tourists? US-UK taskforce talks ‘stalled’

A UK Government spokesman told the publication discussions are “ongoing” to “ensure the UK and US closely share thinking and expertise on international travel policy”.

The US is also yet to open for tourism with one of its close neighbours.

The US-Canada border remains shut for the time being, and people hope it can open before summer ends.

Canada has started reopening some services as its vaccine programme gathers steam, with the first “unlocking” expected from today.

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Belarus shuts borders: Citizens barred from leaving and foreigners must provide documents

Border force has imposed tough restrictions on Belarusian citizens and foreign nationals with a residential permit in Belarus. Those with a temporary residence card in another country are not allowed to leave.

A temporary residence permit in a foreign state is not a basis for leaving Belarus, the State Border Committee said.

It added departure from the country through ground checkpoints is limited for both Belarusian citizens and foreigners with a residence permit in Belarus.

Belarus sparked widespread condemnation from the international community last week, after officials re-routed a Ryanair plane to Minsk and arrested a dissident journalist and his partner.

Officials in Belarus scrambled a MiG-29 fighter plane to escort the aircraft to Minsk airport then apprehended Roman Protasevich – a blogger and critic of President Alexander Lukashenko – and his girlfriend Sofia Sapega.

The flight had been en route to Lithuania from Greece on May 23.

Ryanair said the crew had been “notified by Belarus of a potential security threat on board and were instructed to divert to the nearest airport, Minsk”.

The European Union has urged its airlines to avoid Belarus amid the outrage over the forced landing of the passenger plane.

The bloc is considering imposing sanctions on Minsk.

Belarus has been isolated by large parts of mainland Europe, but has Russia in its corner.

Moscow will defend Belarus and provide help if Brussels enforces economic sanctions on Minsk, a Russian foreign ministry official.

Alexander Lukashenko, the President of Belarus, has been holding cosy talks with Russian leader Vladimir Putin over the weekend.

He added the Kremlin would take note of the fact Ms Sapega also has a Belarusian residency permit.

Russia will also press ahead with a second £352million ($ 500million) loan to Belarus next month.

Moscow promised Minsk a £1.1billion ($ 1.5billion) loan in 2020 as part of efforts to stabilise its neighbour.

Minsk received a first instalment of £352million ($ 500million) in October.

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New Zealand to crack down on ‘low-skill’ immigration and target wealthy as borders open

The Southern Hemisphere country saw its largest-ever annual drop in net migration for the year ending March 2021, according to Stats NZ. Provisional estimates show net migration plummeted from 91,900 to just 6,600 as part of data recording the first full year of closed borders due to the coronavirus pandemic. The strict border and travel rules enforced by New Zealand have driven the record annual fall in both migrant arrivals and migrant departures.
Unsurprisingly, there were also record falls in total arrivals and departures across the country’s border in the 12 months ending March 2021.

In the previous year-long period there were 13.6 million border crossings (6.8 million arrivals and 6.8 million departures) but this nosedived to just 319,700 border crossings (127,600 arrivals and 192,100 departures) in the year to March.

Now the New Zealand Government is tightening the options for those hoping to migrate and work in the country, and has also announced new measures to attract wealthy investors.

Tourism minister Stuart Nash said: “When our borders fully open again, we can’t afford to simply turn on the tap to the previous immigration settings.

“COVID-19 has starkly highlighted our reliance on migrant labour – particularly temporary migrant labour.

“The pressure we have seen on housing and infrastructure in recent years means we need to get ahead of population growth.”

Mr Nash said that since the early 1990s, surging levels of migration have contributed to nearly a third (30 percent) of New Zealand’s total population growth.

He added the country’s reliance on temporary workers “means businesses have been able to rely on lower-skilled labour and suppress wages rather than investing capital in productivity-enhancing plant and machinery, or employing and upskilling New Zealanders into work”.

READ MORE: Union splits over Britain’s £20bn Brexit trade deal with Australia

The latest wide-ranging plans are part of a drive to change immigration in New Zealand, with the Government also announcing new strategies to target wealthy investors.

The tourism minister said these changes would enable more than 00 wealthy international investors to come to New Zealand over the next year.

Last Thursday in a pre-budget speech to business leaders, New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has given an indication that wide-ranging changes to the country’s immigration rules were afoot.

She said: “Let me be clear. The government is looking to shift the balance away from low-skilled work, towards attracting high-skilled migrants and addressing genuine skills shortages.”

On Monday, the Prime Minister said the country’s Government were using the coronavirus pandemic as an opportunity to reconsider a number of areas, including immigration.

But she remained tight-lipped on the number of people that would be affected by the changes, insisting it was not about “crude numbers”.

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Portugal holidays: Best places to visit when borders open next week

The Portuguese government announced yesterday that it was going to extend its national lockdown to at least May 30, which caused a state of uncertainly among UK holidaymakers that had a trip planned for next week.

However, later in the day, the country confirmed that it will now allow UK tourists to visit from Monday, May 17.

Travellers that wish to go to the country will need to provide a negative PCR test on arrival.

Portugal has always been a hotspot for Britons, and it’s now likely to be one of the most accessible and affordable destinations on the green list.

READ MORE: The Scarborough B&B named the best in the world

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When will the US open its borders to the UK?

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The US, alongside the UK, is leading in the vaccine rollout, with almost half of Brits given at least a first dose. A new traffic light system has been suggested by the Government, in which countries are ranked based on a number of criteria including vaccinations infection rates, the prevalence of variants of concern and their genomic sequencing capacity. The countries will then be ordered into ‘red’, ‘amber’ and ‘green’ based on the findings of these criteria.

People heading to low risk ‘green’ countries will not need to isolate when they get back to the UK.

They do, however, need to take a PCR Covid tests before and after they get home.

Travellers arriving into Britain from the ‘amber’ countries will have to self-isolate at home and take Covid tests pre-departure and on Day Two and Eight after they get back.

Tourists coming back from ‘red’ listed countries will have to isolate in a quarantine hotel for 11 days at a cost of £1,750, as well as taking Covid tests pre-departure and on Day Two and Eight after they arrive.

READ MORE: Summer holidays face another hurdle after Foreign Office twist

When will the US open its borders to the UK?

As things stand, the situation is very precarious all around and it’s not exactly clear when the US will reopen its borders.

However, while it’s not easy to say for sure when travel to the US can resume, it’s likely to be quite soon.

The vaccine rollout is going well in the US, with President Joe Biden announcing all adults have been eligible for their first jab from April 19.

The success of the vaccine in the US could allow it to open to Brits by the summer, and even placed onto the ‘green’ list.

“Within the UK Government’s traffic light framework, we have the opportunity to put he UK and US on a ‘green’ basis and get the economy moving again as of May 17.”

British Airways CEO Sean Doyle has also previously pushed for the US to drop the ban and reopen its borders.

He said: “On the basis of what we see looking forward with the vaccination programme we think the case for opening up the entire US as a single system is very compelling.”

Aer Lingus are launching direct flights to the US from Manchester in July.

Paul Charles, CEO of travel consultancy firm the PC Agency, revealed London and Washington are considering the travel corridor scheme, and it could be soon.

Mr Charles said: “Governments are in negotiations at the moment, which are proceeding positively, about a possible pilot bilateral corridor scheme to enable safe travel between the two countries after the end of May.

“One of the Global Travel Taskforce work-steams is called ‘Engaging with other like-minded countries [like the US]’.

“The Biden Administration has also been consulting in the US about opening up borders in advance of American Independence Day in July.”

One thing is for sure, however. May 17 is the very earliest that international travel can resume, from the UK’s side at least.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said more information will be handed out closer to the reopening date.

Officials in both countries are worrying about their vaccination programmes being jeopardised by new imported variants, so experts say that travel between the two countries may restart in small steps.

Australia flights: How long before Australia opens its borders? Expert says could be YEARS

Craig Roberts from SeatSpy told Express.co.uk the borders could open sooner than anticipated: “With such an unpredictable situation, it’s obviously very difficult to predict anything.

“However, at SeatSpy we have insights into where people are looking to spend their hard-earned airline miles, so this could give us some sort of indication on what the consensus is amongst savvy travellers.

“From our data, we can see that Sydney, Australia, is the fourth most searched destination in terms of award seat bookings, behind the Maldives, New York City and Barbados.

“Most users are searching for flights between November 2021 and April 2022, so this would indicate when people are expecting to be able to travel to Australia again.”

This article originally appeared on Daily Express :: Travel Feed

Holidays mapped: Which countries are opening borders to UK tourists? Greece joins the list

More holiday destinations have been given the green light for the coming weeks as Britain continues its lockdown easing plan. Greece is the latest place to be added to the list of travel destinations to welcome back British tourists. Holiday bookings began to surge once Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced his roadmap out of lockdown.
Holidays have been off the cards for Britons for almost a year since lockdown began last March.

Now the country is in the midst of its vaccination programme which has been hailed as the key to returning to normal.

This week, the first step in Boris Johnson’s four-step lockdown easing roadmap began with the reopening of schools and allowing two people from different households to meet in public spaces for recreation.

Holidays however are still off the cards for many for the time being.

READ MORE: When can you go on a cruise holiday?

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps today revealed he is “hopeful” travel abroad will be possible from May 17.

Speaking to BBC Breakfast, Mr Shapps said: “We know you won’t be able to travel until May 17.

“I would say that it makes sense to see how the course of the pandemic unlock proceeds.

“I am hopeful but, as with everything to do with this virus, you can’t say for certain.

“There are a lot of issues that we need to work around but I am working with international partners, both governments and organisations, to try to make it happen.

“We can’t provide cast-iron guarantees on it.”

Seychelles will open its borders to tourists on March 25 without a mandatory quarantine or vaccination required.

Travellers will need to show a negative Covid test to enter the island nation within 72 hours of departure.

Since the pandemic began, there have been a total of 3,032 confirmed coronavirus cases and 15 Covid-related deaths.

The Easter weekend is currently the target date for reopening of tourism businesses in Wales.

Travelling in Wales is only permitted for essential reasons, with all international travel banned.

The Cypriot Government last week announced Britons who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can enter the country without restrictions from May 1.

British visitors will not be required to provide evidence of a negative test or quarantine if they have received both doses of the vaccine, with the second dose given at least seven days before travelling.

Another country due to welcome British tourists soon is Greece.

Greece will allow British tourists back into the country from mid-May whether they have had the vaccine or not.

Anyone entering Greece needs to show a negative result from a PCR test for Covid that has been done within 72 hours prior to arrival.

Speaking at the International Tourism Fair ITB Berlin on March 9, Haris Theocharis said that the country was “more than optimistic” and “ready” to receive visitors.

Portugal has revealed visitors from the UK will be allowed to travel to the country if they have attested negative or are “immune”.

In England, domestic holidays are due to begin again on May 17, with all hotels and other accommodation types to reopen from then.

Spain & Portugal holidays: FCDO issues new update as nations tighten borders

Spain announced this week it would be further extending its travel ban on UK arrivals. Meanwhile, Portugal this week “re-assessed” its risk levels across the country, with restrictions tightening in certain regions.
It continues: “If you are resident in Spain, you should carry your residence document (the green paper EU residence certificate or the new TIE), as well as your valid passport when you travel.

“If you are not in possession of a residence document, the Spanish government has formally confirmed to the UK government that UK nationals who were legally residing in Spain before January 1, 2021, and as such are beneficiaries of the Withdrawal Agreement, can present other documents to prove their residence status when entering Spain.”

However, all passengers travelling to Spanish airports from “risk countries”, including the UK, must present a negative PCR, TNA or LAMP test taken within no more than 72 hours prior to arrival.

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The FCDO warns: “Spot checks may be carried out on arrival to confirm travellers have undergone a COVID-19 PCR, TMA or LAMP test and have tested negative.

“A minimum fine of €3,000 may be issued to anyone who does not comply.”

There are also additional restrictions on entering Spain from neighbouring countries.

“While restrictions are in place you will only be able to enter Spain via Gibraltar if you are a Spanish national, you are legally resident in Spain or Gibraltar or a cross border worker,” the FCDO explains.

It adds: “From 31 January, Portuguese authorities will enforce border control checks at the land border with Spain.

“Only cross border workers, goods traffic and those entering or exiting Portugal to return to their usual place of residence will be granted passage. Rail and ferry connections between Spain and Portugal have been suspended.”

Britons returning from Spain to the UK will be required to self-isolate at home.

Currently, entry to Portugal, including Madeira, Porto Santo and the Azores is limited to EU/EEA nationals and their family members, UK and other EU/EEA nationals who are official residents in Portugal or another EU member state, and UK nationals who are travelling for “essential purposes”.

The FCDO warns travellers to be prepared with “evidence” of the reason for their journey.

Earlier in the week, the FCDO also issued new guidance following a “re-assessment” of risk areas in Portugal.

New restrictions were put in place for Madeira and Porto Santo following an increase in Covid cases in some areas.

The FCDO explained: “If you arrive in Madeira or Porto Santo without an RT-PCR test, you will be required to take one at the airport and to repeat it five to seven days later.

“From the day you arrive in Madeira or Porto Santo until you receive the results of this additional test, you must remain in isolation.”

The autonomous region of Madeira is currently in a “state of calamity”.

Until further notice residents must stay at home on weekdays from 7pm to 5am and on weekends and public holidays from 6pm to 5am.

The autonomous region of the Azores is currently in a “state of emergency”.

Across the Azores, there are five levels of risk including “very low”, “low”, “medium” and “high”.

Each level has its own corresponding restrictions, however, at present all islands are classified as “low risk”.

However, the FCDO adds: “In response to an increase in the number of cases, there are restrictions on travel to and from the northern part of the parish town of Rabo de Peixe on the island of São Miguel until further notice.

“You should avoid travelling to or through this area of the town.”

Britons returning from Portugal to the UK will be required to self-isolate in a Government approved hotel.

Daily Express :: Travel Feed