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Texas recommends resuming Johnson & Johnson vaccine shots after CDC, FDA give green light

Author: Karen Brooks Harper
This post originally appeared on The Texas Tribune: Main Feed

Columbus Shooting: Video Sheds Light on Killing of Ohio Teen

Author Kevin Williams, Jack Healy and Will Wright
This post originally appeared on NYT > U.S. News

COLUMBUS, Ohio — It was Valentine’s Day when Ma’Khia Bryant, 16, moved into the foster home where her younger sister had lived for more than a year. The girls were close, and would dance and make TikTok videos together, while Ms. Bryant nurtured a constant hope: to one day live again with her biological mother.

“That’s all she said, was, ‘I want to be with my mom,’” said Angela Moore, who said she provided foster care for Ms. Bryant and her sister on a quiet block on the southeastern edge of Columbus, Ohio.

Those dreams were cut short after a Columbus police officer fatally shot Ms. Bryant on Tuesday afternoon, just moments after arriving at a chaotic disturbance outside her foster home. Body-camera footage released by the Columbus police appears to show Ms. Bryant holding a knife as she lunges toward another person a moment before she is shot.

Her death fanned new waves of sorrow, anger and protest on Wednesday, its timing — just minutes before a jury in Minneapolis convicted Derek Chauvin in the murder of George Floyd — a grim reminder of an unceasing tally of killings by the police.

As the White House on Wednesday described Ms. Bryant’s death as “tragic,” law enforcement authorities in Columbus pleaded for patience from the community as they released 911 calls and new body-camera videos showing the frenzied moments surrounding her shooting.

Michael Woods, the interim chief of the Columbus Division of Police, identified the officer who shot Ms. Bryant as Nicholas Reardon, and said he had been on the force since December 2019.

“Under any circumstance, that is a horrendous tragedy,” Ned Pettus Jr., the city’s public safety director, said during a news conference on Wednesday. “But the video shows there is more to this. It requires us to pause, take a close look at the sequence of events, and though it’s not easy, wait for the facts as is determined by an independent investigation.”

Mr. Pettus said a third-party investigation being conducted by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation would need to answer key questions, including what information Officer Reardon had, what he saw at the scene, and what would have happened if he “had taken no action at all.”

The first 911 call that brought the police to the house came at 4:32 p.m. on Tuesday. It is a cacophony of screaming. The caller, who sounds like a younger woman, says that someone was “trying to stab us” and had “put hands” on the caller’s grandmother. The dispatcher asks again and again whether the caller has seen any weapons.

“We need a police officer here now,” the caller responds. That person’s identity was unclear on Wednesday.

A second 911 call came in minutes later, but the caller hung up because the police had already arrived.

Unlike the agonizingly slow video showing Mr. Floyd’s death in Minneapolis, in which he calls out that he cannot breathe as Mr. Chauvin kneels on his neck, footage released by the Columbus police shows that Ms. Bryant’s killing unfolded in seconds.

Officers were dispatched to the home on Legion Lane at 4:35 p.m. on Tuesday and arrived at 4:44, according to the Columbus police.

As Officer Reardon got out of his vehicle, he encountered seven people outside a two-story brick home and asked, “What’s going on?” Yelling could be heard in the background.

An unidentified girl appeared to fall to the grass after being attacked by Ms. Bryant and then kicked by an unidentified man. The video footage then showed Ms. Bryant, who was holding a knife, appearing to lunge toward a person dressed in pink who was pinned against a car parked in the driveway.

“Hey! Hey!” Officer Reardon said as he pulled his gun. “Get down! Get down!”

He fired four quick shots, and Ms. Bryant dropped to the ground at the edge of the driveway.

A witness yelled, “Why did you shoot her?”

The officer responded, “She came at her with a knife,” apparently referring to Ms. Bryant and the person dressed in pink.

Chief Woods said Columbus officers were allowed to use deadly force to protect somebody who was in danger of being killed by another person. A Taser, he said, is generally reserved for situations where there is no immediate threat of death. Officers are not required to call out that they are about to fire their weapon, he added, though they try to if there is time.

“It’s a tragedy,” Chief Woods said. “There’s no other way to say it. It’s a 16-year-old girl.”

Two experts who reviewed the body camera footage said that in this case, the officer’s use of force appeared at first glance to be justified.

Geoffrey P. Alpert, a professor of criminology at the University of South Carolina, said investigators would look at whether the officer believed that there was an imminent threat to the life of the other woman.

If there was an immediate threat, investigators will look at whether the officer could have resorted to other methods of control, he said. Dr. Alpert said that based on his own review, Ms. Bryant did appear to pose a threat to the life of the other woman.

“Were there other options? Not if she was about to stab that woman,” Dr. Alpert said, adding that a Taser could take too long to deploy, and that the less-than-lethal weapons are not 100 percent reliable. “He’s protecting her life, not his own,” he said. “What if it didn’t work and she ended up killing this woman?”

Still, Ms. Bryant’s family and activists across Columbus questioned why the officer shot Ms. Bryant.

“I don’t know why he shot her,” Ms. Moore, Ms. Bryant’s foster parent, said. “I don’t know why he didn’t Tase her, why they didn’t try to break it up.”

She added, “At the end of the day, it wasn’t worth all this.”

Tensions over police shootings of Black people were already raw around Columbus. In early December, Casey Goodson Jr., 23, was shot to death at the entrance of his home by a Franklin County sheriff’s deputy who had been searching for someone else. Two weeks later, Andre Hill was shot by a Columbus police officer who was later charged with felony murder.

Ms. Moore said that she was at work during the shooting, but that she believed the fight began over an argument about housekeeping. She said one of her former foster children had visited the home on Tuesday and criticized Ms. Bryant and her sister for having messy bedrooms.

“That’s where the problem came,” Ms. Moore said. “I didn’t know they had called the police.”

Ms. Moore said that Ms. Bryant had moved into her home on Feb. 14, and that she was one of three foster children living there, including her sister.

Ms. Bryant’s family expressed dismay and outrage at her death, and described Ms. Bryant as sweet and caring. They said she should still be alive.

“This could have been de-escalated by the Columbus Police Department,” Don Bryant, a cousin of Ms. Bryant’s mother, said. “There are things you can do to avoid pulling out your gun and shooting someone. I question the use of force.”

Mr. Bryant said he did not know how Ma’Khia Bryant had ended up in foster care. But he said that her mother, Paula Bryant, who works as a nursing assistant in Columbus, had been working toward a reunion.

“Paula was working extremely hard to get Ma’Khia back into her home, working to do everything right,” Mr. Bryant said.

Ms. Bryant had been enrolled at Independence High School in Columbus in February. Jacqueline Bryant, a spokeswoman for Columbus City Schools who is not related, said her teachers reported that in the short time Ms. Bryant was there, she was “very respectful, attended school each day, and was eager to learn.”

On Legion Lane, where a memorial of flowers and stuffed animals was growing on Wednesday, neighbors were still stunned. Chris Mitchell, 31, who was visiting from another city, was playing with his two children in a nearby backyard when he heard “very loud arguing” followed by gunshots about two minutes later.

“I came out and saw a young lady on the ground,” Mr. Mitchell said.

Israel Reales, 19, said his mother, Nahomi, was unloading groceries from her car when she heard gunshots. She went outside and saw people with their hands up. She relayed the story through her son, who interpreted.

“The police need a lot more training,” Mr. Reales said. “The way it was handled wasn’t proper.”

Activists who spent Tuesday demonstrating at the scene of the shooting marched on late Wednesday afternoon toward Police Headquarters, and said they planned to demand answers and accountability.

“They didn’t de-escalate the situation,” said DeJuan Sharp, an organizer with a local Black Lives Matter group called the Downtownerz. “I don’t know why the gun was the first thing for him to use.”

Lucia Walinchus contributed reporting from Columbus.

thatgamecompany's Award-Winning Sky: Children Of The Light Soars Onto Switch In June

Sky Children Of The Light© thatgamecompany

thatgamecompany is a studio that is rightly held in the highest regard, with titles like Flower and particularly Journey being stand-out releases. For a time it worked solely on PlayStation platforms, but after going its own way it released Sky: Children of the Light on iOS and Android; pleasingly that experience is coming to Nintendo Switch in June.

It’s a game that combines exploration and story for solo players with online interactions, an expansion on an approach we also saw in Journey. There are 7 realms to explore to ‘uncover the mystery’, but meeting others will also allow you to tackle more areas when teaming up; based on many user reviews it’s beautifully handled.

You can get a feel for the gameplay in the Android launch trailer and also the trailer for the latest ‘season’ below.

It’s a free-to-start game, with regular ‘adventure seasons’ released, along with some events that have been designed to raise money for charities such as Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF).

We’re fascinated to see how this’ll turn out on Nintendo Switch; will you try it out?

This article originally appeared on Nintendo Life | Latest News

Spain holidays: Traffic light system sparks summer holiday concern for tourist resorts

Following the Global Travel Taskforce’s announcement of a “traffic light” system to determine where Britons can jet off to this summer, Spanish tourist officials have begun to show some concern. Some suggest a “lack of certainty” around “summer holidays” could spark trouble for regions heavily reliant on tourist traffic.
Andalucia’s tourism minister Juan Marin, said: “While the announcement of the Global Travel Taskforce’s framework for restart highlights a route out of the pandemic and back to international travel, we are still concerned at the lack of certainty surrounding summer holidays.”

It comes following Jet2’s decision to axe all flights and holidays until June 23.

This has been particularly worrying for Spain, with vast swathes of its UK visitors flying in via these routes.

Andalucia’s tourism minister Juan Marin, said: “We are saddened to hear that major airlines such as Jet2 have taken the difficult decision to postpone their operations given the lack of clarity around likely start dates or requirements.”

READ MORE: Holidays: FCDO updates for France, Spain, Italy, Greece & Portugal

The region is home to a number of popular holiday resorts, including Marbella and Malaga.

In a bid to encourage the return of safe tourism, Andalucia has introduced its own special COVID-19 insurance for arrivals.

According to the region’s tourism website: “Andalusia provides all non-resident international travellers with free Covid insurance for stays at any type of regulated establishment in the region between 1 January and 31 December 2021.”

Mr Marin added: “The international travel insurance offers travellers up to €4,000 of cover on medical expenses, sanitary repatriation and extension of stay in the case of a COVID-19 infection, providing visitors with the confidence that they are safeguarded during their trip.

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“We continue to invest in resources to enable our tourism sector to restart operations safely and eagerly anticipate the return of British tourists.”

It is unclear, at the time of writing, whether or not Spain will be given a place on the UK’s “green list”.

UK travellers will be able to jet off to nations categorised as green without the need for self-isolation upon their return home.

According to Gov.uk: “Arrivals from green countries will need to take a pre-departure test as well as a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test on or before day 2 of their arrival back into England – but will not need to quarantine on return (unless they receive a positive result) or take any additional tests, halving the cost of tests on their return from holiday.”

Steve Norris, managing director of Flight Centre said: “There is still more to be done to clear the mist still blanketing summer travel, specifically in perfecting the traffic light system ahead of 17 May.

“The green watchlist announced today is a step in the right direction for the alert system we desperately need, giving our overstretched industry prior warning before consumers dash to book the next green destination, but this needs to be developed further.

“For the system to be a genuine help, it should also provide warning when a country risks heading into amber or red, giving travellers peace of mind to book knowing they won’t be faced with an overnight scramble to return to the UK and allowing agents time to amend customer’s bookings.”

Further updates on the new system are anticipated in advance of May 17, when Prime Minister Boris Johnson predicts some foreign holidays can restart.

This article originally appeared on Daily Express :: Travel Feed

Flights: easyJet, Jet2, TUI & British Airways updates ahead of ‘traffic light’ travel

Airlines found themselves mostly grounded amid the multiple lockdowns of the coronavirus pandemic. However, from May 17, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has expressed hopes some international travel will return with a “traffic light” system in place to categorise the “risk” countries pose to increasing the spread of infection globally.

easyJet

easyJet has continued to operate some flights throughout the pandemic, however, these are subject to change at short notice.

The airline’s package holidays arm easyJet holidays has cancelled all holiday plans up to May 17, in line with Government guidance.

In an update issued on April 9 regarding package holidays, the airline explained: “The government has shared a little bit more about how holidays can be restarted again and more about the introduction of a traffic light system.

“The government has also said it will share which traffic light colour destinations fall under in early May, so we’ll know even more then.

“In the meantime, if you’ve got a booking with us between May and August look out for an email with a reminder of the flexibility we offer under our Protection Promise.”

The airline developed a “Protection Promise” to allow more “flexibility” for customers with new and existing bookings.

This means holidays where there is a known quarantine requirement will be cancelled, and customers will be entitled to a full refund.

Holidaymakers can also cancel their holiday in exchange for a full refund as long as they do so up to 28 days before travel.

“Your refund will be free of fees, and unlike some holiday companies that will keep your deposit, if you book directly with us we’ll even give your deposit back to you as credit on your easyJet holidays online account,” explains the easyJet website.

Customers also have the choice of obtaining a voucher for the full value of their ticket which can be used towards future travel.

In anticipation of travel restarting, the orange-tipped carrier has boosted its itinerary with an array of new routes.

These include new routes and package holidays from Birmingham Airport to Spain, Portugal and Greece.

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Jet2

Jet2 has made the decision to further axe holidays due to the ongoing “uncertainty” around travel.

The low-cost holiday provider has cancelled all flights and holidays until June 24.

Steve Heapy, CEO of Jet2.com and Jet2holidays, expressed his “disappointment” at the Government’s travel plans.

He said: “We have taken time to study the Global Travel Taskforce’s framework, and we are extremely disappointed at the lack of clarity and detail.

“After several weeks exploring how to restart international travel, with substantial assistance and input from the industry, the framework lacks any rigorous detail about how to get international travel going again. In fact, the framework is virtually the same as six months ago.”

He called for more clarity, stating: “Following the publication of the framework today, we still do not know when we can start to fly, where we can fly to and the availability and cost of testing. Rather than answering questions, the framework leaves everyone asking more.

The CEO continued: “Because of the continued uncertainty that the framework provides, it is with a heavy heart that we have taken the decision to extend the suspension of flights and holidays up to and including 23rd June 2021.”

Jet2 passengers impacted by cancellations will be offered a full refund of the amount paid.

The airline says it is in the process of contacting all customers to discuss their options.

Despite this, the airline has issued some positive updates too.

As of summer, Jet2 will operate a new route from Manchester, Birmingham and Bristol Airport’s to Innsbruck in Austria for summer 2022.

Jet2 and Jet2holidays have also announced the launch of flights and holidays to Sicily and Sardinia for summer 2022.

TUI

TUI has detailed plans to resume some travel from May 17 in line with Government guidelines.

In a statement on its website, issued on April 9, the airline explained: “Following the recent announcement from the UK government, customers travelling from England will be subject to a new traffic light system with ‘green’, ‘amber’ and ‘red’ destinations.

“It’s expected that international travel can resume from 17 May at the earliest.

“We review the information on this page in line with each government announcement and expect to know more within the next few weeks.”

TUI customers with new and existing bookings are protected by the airline’s “Holiday Promise”.

If Government, FCDO or quarantine rules impact holiday plans, customers will be entitled to change their booking to another date “for free” or receive a “full refund.”

TUI adds: “If we need to cancel your holiday for any of these reasons, you don’t need to do anything. We’ll work through bookings in departure date order to proactively contact you as soon as we can.”

Speaking on BBC Breakfast on Monday, managing director for TUI UK and Ireland, Andrew Flintham, showed hope for some destinations.

He said: “Cyprus has come out and been very positive, Greece and Turkey have come out and been very positive, and Spain again.

“So I think all these European countries, whilst to a degree they are struggling with their rates at the moment, we are still a significant period away from the summer season properly opening up, we are probably 11 weeks away.

“The world has been changing on a weekly basis, never mind an 11-weekly basis.

“So we are still positive about those destinations. We are also positive that the Caribbean and some of those destinations will open up.”

British Airways

British Airways (BA) has continued to operate a “reduced” and “dynamic” service throughout the pandemic.

This means some flights may be cancelled or changed at short notice.

Customers with travel plans are advised to stay up-to-date with the latest flight information on the BA website.

The airline has cancelled all of its package holidays up to May 17.

A BA spokesperson told Express.co.uk: “All affected customers will be contacted and offered a refund.”

In a statement, the travel provider added: “If we cannot fulfil a holiday, we’re committed to ensuring customers receive a full refund within 14 days.

“Customers who are unable to travel, or choose not to, can continue to change their holiday without a change fee, or request a voucher for future use.”

The airline has also introduced its own “Protection Promise” to allow customers more “flexibility” when booking.

“Our book with confidence commitment means you have the option to change your booking date and destination or even cancel it completely,” explains the airline’s website.

For bookings made on or after March 3, 2020, for journeys that are due to have been completed by April 30, 2022, customers have the option to change their booking or cancel their booking in exchange for a voucher for future travel.

The airline also made the decision to extend its pause on short-haul operations out of Gatwick Airport.

Instead, the majority of these services will now operate from Heathrow.

Some long-haul and domestic routes from Gatwick will remain.

In a statement, the airline explained: “Until the end of October, most of our short-haul flights will continue to operate from Heathrow.

“This enables us to ensure a smooth, uninterrupted, and efficient operation across our business at a time when demand is yet to return and international travel restrictions remain in place.

Haaland camp praised for 'making right choice' as Liverpool given green light

Erling Haaland’s camp has been praised for always choosing the club that’s best for him in the past.

And it’s because his advisors have previously been so successful that Haaland’s first coach at Bryne FK, Alf Ingve Berntsen, believes they’ll make the correct call again in this summer’s transfer window.

Borussia Dortmund star Haaland is tipped to complete a £150million transfer in the summer – but where he will go is anyone’s guess.

His dad Alf-Inge and his agent Mino Raiola went to see some potential buyers just last week and were spotted flying into Barcelona[1] from Nice to speak with club president Joan Laporta.

They later headed to the Spanish capital to chat with Real Madrid[2] chiefs before flying to the UK to hold similar meetings with Chelsea,[3] Liverpool, Manchester City[4] and Man United.

Erling Haaland's camp has been praised for always choosing the club that's best for him in the past
Erling Haaland’s camp has been praised for always choosing the club that’s best for him in the past

There is an argument for every one of these clubs potentially signing Haaland, with Chelsea[5] and United among the candidates who can afford the Norwegian’s contract demands, and City holding sentimental value, given Alf-Inge represented them.

But Haaland is still no closer to making a final decision on his next club and will likely see out this campaign with Dortmund, who are still competitive in the Champions League, before making an announcement.

Haaland’s first coach Berntsen would like the striker to join Liverpool as this is his team.

But he too has no inclination as to where the forward will end up. He only knows that it will likely be the ‘right choice’ for Haaland given his track record in the transfer market to this point.

“If I had to decide, I’d go for Liverpool because that’s my club – but I don’t decide,” Berntsen told BBC 5 LIVE.[7][6]

“I don’t have a clue what they will do, Erling and his team have made very good choices and shown great knowledge in choosing the club that’s best for him in the past.”

References

  1. ^ Barcelona (www.mirror.co.uk)
  2. ^ Real Madrid (www.mirror.co.uk)
  3. ^ Chelsea, (www.mirror.co.uk)
  4. ^ Manchester City (www.mirror.co.uk)
  5. ^ Chelsea (www.mirror.co.uk)
  6. ^ Liverpool (www.liverpoolecho.co.uk)
  7. ^ BBC 5 LIVE. (www.bbc.co.uk)

[email protected] (Jake Polden)

Traffic light system could see Britons travel to '130 countries' including Spain & Dubai

According to The Times, green-ranked countries would see travel allowed without restrictions, including Britons being given the go-ahead to skip hotel quarantine.

However, arrivals from these nations will still be required to take a lateral flow coronavirus test (LFT) at the airport before departure, and then a “sequencing test” within days of landing to check for strains.

By looking at the risk of new infections from July and August 2020, when the travel corridor scheme was in place, Oxera and Edge found travellers from the UK could now visit overseas destinations with virus prevalence rates three times higher than they were in 2020, without increasing the risk or putting pressure on the NHS.

This is largely thanks to the successful ongoing roll-out of the Covid vaccine across the UK.

READ MORE: Expert predicts countries opening to UK tourists ‘before end of May’[1]

Liverpool maintain Mohamed Salah transfer stance as Kylian Mbappe priority comes to light

Liverpool are reportedly confident Mohamed Salah will stay at the club ahead of the summer transfer window, amid speculation linking the Egyptian star with a move to Real Madrid. Meanwhile, there’s an update on Kylian Mbappe’s future, and Thomas Muller has suggested he could follow in Thiago Alcantara’s footsteps, as Express Sport brings you the latest transfer news on Jurgen Klopp’s side.

Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah stance

Liverpool remain convinced that Mohamed Salah won’t be leaving Anfield any time soon.

Salah has frequently been linked with interest from Real Madrid, and transfer speculation was ramped up earlier this season when former Egypt striker Mohamed Aboutrika claimed his compatriot was not happy at the club.

But the Premier League club are confident Salah will see out his contract, which expires in 2023 – and are optimistic he will stay longer, according to journalist Fabrizio Romano.

“Liverpool are convinced that they can keep Mohamed Salah,” Romano wrote in his column for Benchwarmers.

“Soon they will have to talk about his contract expiring in June 2023, but there is no problem with the club.”

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Mbappe priority amid Reds transfer talk

One player Liverpool have freuquently been linked with in recent times is PSG star Kylian Mbappe.

The 22-year-old World Cup winner has long been expected to join Real Madrid if and when he leaves the Parc des Princes.

But he has also spoken of his admiration for Liverpool – and the feeling is mutual, with Klopp a confirmed fan of the forward.

However, Mbappe has not held talks with the Reds, despite rumours to the contrary.

That’s again according to Romano, who said Mbappe’s current focus is on extending his Paris-Saint Germain contract, which is due to expire at the end of next season.

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“Kylian Mbappe has not started any negotiations with Liverpool so far despite the rumours,” wrote Romanon in his Benchwarmers column.

“To date, the priority is to negotiate with Paris Saint-Germain for the renewal of his contract.”

Muller hints at following in Thiago’s footsteps

Thomas Muller has suggested he could follow in the footsteps of Thiago Alcantara, who joined Liverpool last summer.

Muller broke into Bayern Munich’s first team in 2008, and has become synonymous with Bundesliga giants’ success ever since.

Richard Madeley: 'Never see the light of day' Piers Morgan saved family from pap photos

“‘No, no — I did it as a favour. I’m suggesting I send one of our snappers to your hotel, do some properly posed holiday shots of you all, and run those instead.’”

But the presenter shook his head, replying: “‘That’d set a precedent. Every time we’re papped like this, we’d have to do similar deals. Thanks but no thanks.’”

He went on to explain that Piers asked if Judy was available to talk to and in front of them both on speakerphone, did a very noble thing.

“There was an odd, metallic tinkling sound,” Richard noted in his article for The Spectator, before remembering Piers saying: “‘Hear that? That was me chucking those photos in my bin. They’ll never see the light of day. Enjoy the rest of your holiday.’”

Holidays: Full list of countries giving UK travellers the green light to return

From May 17, Britons could see themselves jetting off on holiday if Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s “roadmap” out of lockdown goes to plan. Though this stage of easing restrictions has not yet been confirmed to go ahead, many nations are already setting out dates for when British holidaymakers can return.
Here is a full list of the nations which have, so far, given UK travellers the thumbs up for future holidays.

France

France is the most recent nation to announce it is lifting restrictions on UK travellers.

In December, the nation closed its borders to Britons except for a select set of reasons for travel.

However, due to the declining rate of coronavirus cases in England, coupled with changes to Covid variants, the nation has decided to reopen its borders to UK arrivals.

Arrivals from the UK, along with six other nations, will now no longer be required to provide documentation providing they have a “compelling” reason for travel, such as a medical or family emergency.

Travellers will need to provide evidence of a negative Covid PCR test taken with 72 hours of arrival.

In a translated Tweet, the tourism minister Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne said: “Compelling reasons are no longer necessary to travel to France.

“Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the efforts made and which made it possible to curb the epidemic. Let’s stay vigilant, let’s hold together!”

He added: “The list includes Britain because the UK variant now also circulates widely in France.”

READ MORE: France holidays: Nations sets out new rules for UK travellers 

Greece

Greece has said it will welcome Britons back from May 14, regardless of whether they have been vaccinated or not.

While vaccinated arrivals will be able to travel, those who have not received a COVID-19 jab will simply need to present a negative test result upon arrival.

Greek tourism minister Harry Theoharis added that tourists who have antibodies will also be able to enter.

“We aim to open tourism by May 14 with specific rules and updated protocols,” Mr Theoharis told the IBT Berlin tourism fair.

“Until then, we will gradually lift restrictions if conditions allow.”

He continued: “We are approaching the exit from this dark tunnel thanks to the power of the human spirit and the progress of science.

“Please allow me to emphasise that no image could better portray the return to the normality of tourism than the Greek smile, the Greek landscape, the Greek hospitality.

“Regarding 2021, in Greece, we are more than optimistic.

“We are ready, we are ready to share the experience of liberation from the unpleasant memories of the pandemic with each and every one of our guests.”

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Cyprus

Cyprus has announced it will reopen its borders to UK arrivals who have received a Covid jab.

They must have had their second inoculation at least seven days prior to travel.

Luckily, those who have not yet received their vaccine will also be allowed to travel on the condition they can present a negative coronavirus test result.

According to the Cypriot government, this will go ahead from May 1.

However, under Boris Johnson’s roadmap Britons will not be able to jet off abroad for holidays until May 17 at the earliest.

“We have informed the British government that from May 1 we will facilitate the arrival of British nationals who have been vaccinated so they can visit Cyprus without a negative test or needing to quarantine,” said Cyprus’ deputy tourism minister Savvas Perdios.

Netherlands

The Netherlands announced they were to lift restrictions on UK travellers earlier this week.

According to ANP, the Dutch government said the ban on travel from the UK “no longer made sense” as the UK variant strain is now dominant in the Netherlands.

However, UK arrivals will still be subject to quarantine at the time of writing.

Travellers must also provide a negative COVID-19 test result and complete a “test declaration”.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) adds: “In addition to the PCR test requirement, the Dutch Government also requires travellers arriving from the UK by aeroplane and ferry to provide proof of a negative rapid (antigen/LAMP) test, taken no more than four hours before boarding. “

Spain

Spain says it is working towards reopening tourism from May 19.

Tourism Minister Reyes Maroto has suggested the nation is eyeing a vaccination passport.

This would suggest Britons who are not vaccinated may need to present a negative COVID-19 test result upon arrival.

Spanish officials have also suggested the discussions of a “green corridor”, akin to a travel corridor, are underway.

Speaking to Bloomberg, Spain’s Tourism Minister Fernando Valdés said: “For us, the British market is our main market. But obviously, since we are a member of the European Union, the solutions have first to be part of the discussions in the EU.

“And obviously if that cannot be reached, we will be thinking of other corridors like green corridors with third countries that can help us restart tourism flows.”

Seychelles

Nestled in the Indian Ocean, Seychelles is an idyllic tropical holiday for those eager to soak up sun, sea and sand.

The good news is, that dream could be in reach as soon as March 25.

However, UK travellers would not be permitted to jet off until May 17 at the earliest.

The archipelago’s tourism minister Sylvestre Radegonde announced the destination aims to open to all tourists from March without need for vaccination.

However, visitors will be required to present a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours prior to departure.