Green list UPDATE: Grant Shapps defends travel changes and used maximum 'transparency' as Balearic Islands & Malta added

SUNSEEKERS have been given their biggest boost of the year with Ibiza, Majorca, Malta and the Caribbean all promoted to the green list.

In a major win for summer holidays, a bumper list of new destinations where Brits can travel without quarantine has opened up foreign travel from as early as next week.

All except Malta are on the green “watch list” which means they are teetering on the brink of reverting to amber.

But it means from next Wednesday at 4am, passengers will be able jet off from England to the Balearics without hunkering down at home on return.

The announcement has been welcomed by cash-starved airlines, travel companies and holidaymakers longing for a post-pandemic retreat after months in lockdown.

Read our Green List Travel live blog below for the latest news and updates..

  • Harvey Lindsay

    MATT HANCOCK FACES CALLS TO BE SACKED OVER SHOCKING AFFAIR SCANDAL AS HE SCRAPS PUBLIC VISIT

    Health Secretary Matt Hancock has scrapped a public appearance today as he bunkered down following The Sun's bombshell revelations of a shameful affair with his close adviser.

    Hancock is fighting for his job after facing calls to be sacked over the shameful affair scandal.

    He was supposed to attend a vaccination centre at Newmarket in his Suffolk constituency today but trip would have been undoubtedly overshadowed by mounting questions of him snogging top adviser Gina Coladangelo.

    And this afternoon, Mr Hancock apologised for his actions, saying: "I accept that I breached the social distancing guidance in these circumstances.

    "I have let people down and am very sorry.

    "I remain focused on working to get the country out of this pandemic, and would be grateful for privacy for my family on this personal matter."

  • Harvey Lindsay

    COUNTRIES ON THE GREEN LIST

    The full list of countries on the green list

    • Anguila
    • Antigua and Barbuda
    • Australia
    • Balearic Islands 
    • Barbados 
    • Bermuda 
    • British Antartic Territory 
    • British Indian Ocean Territory
    • British Virgin Islands
    • Brunei
    • Cayman Islands 
    • Dominica
    • Falkland Islands
    • Faroe Islands
    • Gibraltar
    • Grenada
    • Iceland
    • Israel and Jerusalem
    • Madeira
    • Malta 
    • Montserrat
    • New Zealand
    • Pitcairn Islands
    • South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
    • Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha
    • Singapore
    • Turks and Caicos Islands

    EXPERTS TOLD PM ‘DON’T BE FEARFUL’ AS BRITAIN COULD UNLOCK SOONER

    Boris Johnson is being “overcautious” and could end lockdown early, on July 5, top scientists and MPs have said.

    Experts insisted the PM could safely ditch the final set of lockdown restrictions and free the country in just two weeks’ time.

    Brendan Wren, a professor of vaccinology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said the Government has been gripped by “coronamania”.

    He said: “I think the Government has been a bit overcautious, there’s a certain amount of coronamania going on.

    “We are in a third wave but it’s not as bad. It’s more like a bump rather than a huge increase.

    “We have a different population to what we had in the first or second wave so we shouldn’t be so fearful.”

    • Harvey Lindsay

      NHS SOUNDS ALARM OVER RISE IN UK COVID PATIENTS ON VENTILATORS

      The NHS is under ‘huge pressure’ as people in ventilator beds increase 41% during last week, NHS bosses say.

      The deputy chief executive of NHS Providers, Saffron Cordery, said the number of Covid patients in hospital on ventilation beds had increased by 41% in the last week to to 227, which she said was a strong indication Covid was having an impact on health services. 

      Cordery told BBC Breakfast: “Trusts on the frontline are really coming under huge pressure … they have plans in place to tackle the backlog, but with more Covid cases and demand for emergency care going up, that’s really challenging.”

      Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Prof Neil Ferguson, an epidemiologist at Imperial College London, said this and other surveillance data were “encouraging”, despite rising case numbers. Lower hospitalisations and death rates relative to case numbers prove the high effectiveness of vaccines in protecting people from serious illness, he said.

    • Harvey Lindsay

      VERY RARE CASES OF HEART INFLAMMATION IN YOUNG ADULTS ‘LIKELY’ LINKED TO MRNA VACCINES, SAY US EXPERTS

      The Pfizer and Moderna jabs could be linked with a slight increase in the risk of heart inflammation, according to a group advising the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

      Sky news understands experts have been assessing a link between the heart condition and the mRNA vaccines, mainly in young men. 

      Pfizer previously said it had not observed a higher rate of heart inflammation than would normally be expected.

    • Harvey Lindsay

      EXPERT REVEALS ALLOWING QUARANTINE-FREE TRAVEL FOR DOUBLE-JABBED BRITS IS 'SENSIBLE'

      Easing restrictions for fully-vaccinated travellers is a "sensible approach", leading expert professor Neil Ferguson says.

      Professor Ferguson, from Imperial College London, who was appointedduring the first lockdown in March 2020, said people who have had both doses of a coronavirus vaccine are less likely to become seriously ill or transmit the virus.

      Prof Ferguson said: "The effectiveness of two doses of vaccine preventing infection is, depending on the vaccine, somewhere between, we think, 80-90%.

      "Even if you do get infected, first of all you're much less likely to be severely ill.

      "But you're also, and this is important for travel, much less likely to transmit – probably half as infectious as somebody who wasn't vaccinated.

      "So overall that leads to double vaccinated people really only posing somewhere between five and 10% of the risk of importing a case than somebody who wasn't vaccinated."

    • Harvey Lindsay

      WHAT HOLIDAYS TO GREEN LIST DESTINATIONS MALTA AND IBIZA WILL LOOK LIKE NOW – FROM NO DANCING IN CLUBS TO MIDNIGHT CURFEWS

      Brits are finally allowed to jet off to sun-kissed holiday islands without needing to quarantine when they come back. 

      However, those gagging for a no-holds-barred party break are in for a shock as strict Covid rules in the top destinations include banning dancing and staying out beyond midnight. 

      Some of the isles have put a strict midnight or 1am curfew in order and those once famous for all night bar and club opening will be turfing revellers out into the street by 2am at the latest. 

      Worse still, destinations famed for their clubbing have banned dancing — indoors and outside. 

      Here we look at these Covid rules in the holiday islands which are being imposed by law. 

    • Harvey Lindsay

      MATT HANCOCK APOLOGISES FOR SOCIAL DISTANCING GUIDANCE BREACH

      Today, Mr Hancock apologised for his actions, saying: "I accept that I breached the social distancing guidance in these circumstances.

      "I have let people down and am very sorry.

      "I remain focused on working to get the country out of this pandemic, and would be grateful for privacy for my family on this personal matter."

      Mr Hancock cheated on his wife Martha with Gina Coladangelo, 43, who he hired last year with taxpayers’ money, as Covid took over Britain.

      But the shameful images also showed him breaking multiple Covid rules on May 6.

      Indoor mixing bans weren't relaxed until May 17 on the lockdown roadmap – meaning that the Health Secretary failed to keep to restrictions enforced by himself and the PM.

    • Harvey Lindsay

      'HYPOCRITE' MATT HANCOCK AIMED AT NEIL FERGUSON AFTER COVID AFFAIR – JUST A YEAR BEFORE HIS OWN

      'Hypocrite' Matt Hancock skewered Professor Lockdown Neil Ferguson for his affair during Covid – just a year before his own.

      The Health Secretary stressed the importance of social distancing and bashed the Professor's "extraordinary" behaviour during the first lockdown – but Hancock has now gone and done the same.

      In the clip from May 2020, the Health Secretary condemns the actions of  Neil Ferguson – who broke Covid rules to meet his married mistress Antonia Staats.

      Matt Hancock said he was left "speechless" by Prof Ferguson’s "extraordinary" behaviour, and said it had been right for him to resign as a government Sage adviser.

      Matt Hancock said on Sky News: "The social distancing rules are there for everyone, they're incredibly important and they're deadly serious.

      "And the reason is they are the means by which we've managed to get control of this virus."

    • Harvey Lindsay

      GRANT SHAPPS SAYS QUARANTINE FREE TRAVEL FOR BRITS WITH TWO JABS WON'T BE READY FOR FREEDOM DAY

      Travel to amber countries won’t be relaxed for double-jabbed Brits in time for Freedom Day on July 19, Grant Shapps admitted today.

      With holiday hopes taking a blow, a blow the Transport Secretary said it will be “complicated” to exempt the fully vaccinated from quarantine.

      When asked about that prospect today, Mr Shapps replied: "It’s unfortunately more complicated than that.

      "One of the very big areas is what do you do if children are not going to be getting vaccinations?

      "So we’ll probably focus in phase one on UK people who’ve been double vaccinated, and what that means for their travel into other areas."

    • Harvey Lindsay

      VERY RARE CASES OF HEART INFLAMMATION IN YOUNG ADULTS ‘LIKELY’ LINKED TO MRNA VACCINES, EXPERTS WARN

      The Pfizer and Moderna jabs could be linked with a slight increase in the risk of heart inflammation, according to a group advising the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

      Sky news understands experts have been assessing a link between the heart condition and the mRNA vaccines, mainly in young men. 

      Pfizer previously said it had not observed a higher rate of heart inflammation than would normally be expected.

    • Harvey Lindsay

      GERMANY SET TO FORCE BRITS TO QUARANTINE FOR 14 DAYS TO STOP DELTA VARIANT

      Germany yesterday tried to ban Brits from holiday sunbeds — whilst their footballers lined up a Euros showdown with our Three Lions.

      Chancellor Angela Merkel urged all EU nations to make UK visitors quarantine to halt the spreading Delta variant.

      Merkel raged: “In our country if you come from Great Britain you have to go into quarantine.

      “That’s not the case in every European country and that’s what I’d like to see.”

      MP Alec Shelbrooke said: “The Germans are willing to bully other nations as they still can’t accept the Brexit result on it’s fifth anniversary of the vote. And, unbelievably, they are willing to destroy their own tourist industry over political ideology.”

    • Harvey Lindsay

      SCHOOL SPORTS DAY GETS GREEN LIGHT, DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION SAYS

      Schools do not need to cancel this year’s sports days as a result of Covid restrictions, the Department for Education has said.

      Some schools are cancelling sports days and citing Covid guidance, but the Government has said this does not need to happen in “most circumstances”.

      A Department for Education (DfE) spokesman said: “Outdoor events like sports days can go ahead as long as they’re thoroughly risk assessed and conducted in line with guidance around cleaning shared equipment and not mixing bubbles. This applies for parents attending too.”

      Spectators can gather in separate groups of up to 30 outdoors and they need to observe social distancing, according to a blog by the DfE.

      “This means, dependent on the size of the area available, multiple groups of 30 could theoretically attend events as long as there is no mixing between groups at any stage,” the DfE adds.

    • Harvey Lindsay

      MATT HANCOCK MOCKED BY TWITTER USERS AFTER 'IF YOU'RE A WOMAN, SWIPE UP POST, AFTER AFFAIR IS EXPOSED

      Health Secretary Matt Hancock is being mocked by Twitter users for posting “I work alongside brilliant women, if you’re a woman, swipe up” as his affair was dramatically exposed.

      The Sun revealed the Health Secretary has been cheating on his wife with his closest aide who he hired with taxpayers’ money during the pandemic.

      Pictures show Mr Hancock, 42, and millionaire lobbyist Gina Coladangelo, 43, embracing each other in a steamy clinch at his Whitehall office.

      The Health Secretary wrote: “I work alongside some brilliant women. If you’re a woman who wants to get involved in politics, swipe up.”

      Twitter has exploded with hundreds of users reacting to his message, many poking fun at the dad-of-three, with one writing: “Swipe right.”

      Others reacted with “it’s a no from me” messages along with a number of GIFs to tease Mr Hancock.

      Read the full story here

    • Harvey Lindsay

      UK DELTA VARIANT CASES RISE 46% IN A WEE

      Cases of the Delta variant which was first identified in India have risen 46% in a week across the UK, new figures show.

      Public Health England said there had been 35,204 more cases since last week.

      This week, 514 people were admitted to hospital in England with Covid-19, where reports show 304 were unvaccinated.

      Dr Jenny Harries, chief executive of the UK Health Security Agency, said: "Through the success of our vaccination programme, data suggest we have begun to break the link between cases and hospitalisations. This is hugely encouraging news, but we cannot become complacent.

      "Two doses of vaccine are far more effective against Covid-19 than a single dose, so please make sure that you come forward to get your second dose as soon as you are invited.

      "Whilst vaccines provide excellent protection, they do not provide total protection, so it is still as important as ever that we continue to exercise caution."

    • Harvey Lindsay

      SCHOOL SPORTS DAYS CAN GO AHEAD, DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION SAYS

      Schools do not need to cancel this year’s sports days as a result of Covid restrictions, the Department for Education has said.

      Some schools are cancelling sports days and citing Covid guidance, but the Government has said this does not need to happen in “most circumstances”.

      A Department for Education (DfE) spokesman said: “Outdoor events like sports days can go ahead as long as they’re thoroughly risk assessed and conducted in line with guidance around cleaning shared equipment and not mixing bubbles. This applies for parents attending too.”

      Spectators can gather in separate groups of up to 30 outdoors and they need to observe social distancing, according to a blog by the DfE.

      “This means, dependent on the size of the area available, multiple groups of 30 could theoretically attend events as long as there is no mixing between groups at any stage,” the DfE adds.

    • Harvey Lindsay

      BALEARIC ISLAND FORMER PRESIDENT JOSE RAMON BAUZA WELCOMED THEM BEING ADDED TO THE GOVERNMENT'S GREEN TRAVEL LIST

      During a chat with BBC Radio 4's Today programme, he said that the Spanish islands are "looking forward to" welcoming Brits again.

      He added: "It is a safe destination and our industry is absolutely more than prepared to have safe tourism."

      Asked if Spain will have to agree to a rational approach to quarantine rules once decided by the EU, he said it is important that decisions are taken "based on science" and are not "political".

      He added: "We know that vaccination is working very well and in fact in (the) UK it's working so far."

    • Harvey Lindsay

      NHS WORRY OVER RISE IN UK COVID PATIENTS ON VENTILATORS

      The NHS is under ‘huge pressure’ as people in ventilator beds increase 41% during last week, NHS bosses say.

      The deputy chief executive of NHS Providers, Saffron Cordery, said the number of Covid patients in hospital on ventilation beds had increased by 41% in the last week to to 227, which she said was a strong indication Covid was having an impact on health services. 

      Cordery told BBC Breakfast: “Trusts on the frontline are really coming under huge pressure … they have plans in place to tackle the backlog, but with more Covid cases and demand for emergency care going up, that’s really challenging.”

      Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Prof Neil Ferguson, an epidemiologist at Imperial College London, said this and other surveillance data were “encouraging”, despite rising case numbers. Lower hospitalisations and death rates relative to case numbers prove the high effectiveness of vaccines in protecting people from serious illness, he said.

    • Harvey Lindsay

      FLIGHT PRICES TRIPLE IN MINUTES AFTER GREEN LIST COUNTRIES ANNOUNCED BY PM AS DESPERATE BRITS MAKE A DASH ABROAD

      Flight prices have tripled in minutes following the green list boost as holidaymakers desperately try to flee abroad.

      The cost of flying to Ibiza, Majorca, Menorca and Malta surged by up to 200 per cent overnight after the sunny destinations were added to England's quarantine-free list.

      If Brits want to fly to Ibiza, they will have to buy return tickets costing nearly triple after it was added to the green list – as flights on July 3 and July 10 leapt from £149 to £314.

      Journeys on the same days to Majorca also spiked from £153 to a staggering £478 as people desperately book seats for their holidays, reports the Mail.

      Grant Shapps said yesterday: "We’re moving forward with efforts to safely reopen international travel this summer, and thanks to the success of our vaccination programme, we're now able to consider removing the quarantine period for fully vaccinated UK arrivals from amber countries – showing a real sign of progress.   

      "It’s right that we continue with this cautious approach, to protect public health and the vaccine rollout as our top priority, while ensuring that our route out of the international travel restrictions is sustainable."

    • Harvey Lindsay

      FRENCH MEP SAID THERE SHOULD BE A 'HARMONISED' APPROACH TO TRAVEL RULES ACROSS THE EU AND 'THIRD COUNTRIES' SUCH AS THE UK

      French MEP Veronique Trillet-Lenoir told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "The European Union is concerned by the Delta variant and wants to act in a united and co-ordinated manner as much as possible."

      Trillet-Lenoir said discussions are currently ongoing over decisions regarding "third countries", such as the UK.

      "Clearly Germany, France and Portugal have already said that they needed a quarantine; what I really would like is a harmonised and co-ordinated manner, although I understand that the vision is not the same for southern and northern countries in Europe," she added.

      Asked if she thinks it will be necessary to have quarantine for UK travellers throughout all the EU nations, Ms Trillet-Lenoir said: "It is necessary to have harmonised measure in order to prioritise the sanitary issues.

      "I'm very well aware of the economical issues, but until now both the EU and the UK have prioritised the sanitary aspect of the crisis and that's the way to do it."

    • Harvey Lindsay

      PIERS MORGAN AIMS AT 'HYPOCRITICAL' MATT COCOCK OVER SHOCKING AFFAIR AFTER ORDERING PUBLIC NOT TO HUG

      Piers Morgan has blasted "hypocritical" Matt Hancock for his raunchy affair- at the same time he ordered Brits not to hug loved ones.

      The former Good Morning Britain host pointed out that Hancock was not following his own health rules during his shocking encounter with Gina Coladangelo.

      Piers tweeted The Sun's front page, exposing the Health Secretary's explosive affair, adding: "At the time he was ordering the British people not to hug anyone from other households…"

      Mr Hancock cheated on his wife with Gina Coladangelo, 43, who he hired last year with taxpayers’ money, as Covid gripped Britain.

    • Harvey Lindsay

      PRIME MINISTER WILL CUT ONE-METRE SOCIAL DISTANCING RULE ON JULY 19 TO SAVE ARTS AND HOSPITALITY  

      Boris Johnson is determined to put an end to the one-metre distance rule on July 19 even if other Covid measures have to stay in place, Cabinet sources said yesterday.

      It is reported that the Prime Minister has prioritised the removal of the one-metre social distancing rule above all other measures due to its importance to sectors such as hospitality and the arts.

      A Cabinet source said the PM had accepted that the one-metre rule should be made the top priority for July 19.

      "The economic case is unarguable,’ the source said. ‘The one-metre rule is the key remaining social distancing measure left.

      "If we can’t remove it then we might as well not bother on July 19 at all. The PM is determined to get rid of it, even if things like masks have to stay for a bit longer."

    • Harvey Lindsay

      GRANT SHAPPS DEFENDS MATT HANCOCK'S SHOCKING AFFAIR AND PRAISES HIM FOR DOING 'GREAT JOB'

      Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps has tried to defend Matt Hancock over his sleazy affair, calling it a "red herring" and praising him for doing a "great job."

      The Sun revealed last night that the Health Secretary cheated on his wife with Gina Coladangelo, 43, who he hired last year with taxpayers’ money, as Covid gripped Britain.

      Following the shocking affair, Grant Shapps said on Sky News today: "I think it's a bit of a red herring. 

      "And in this case, I think it's really a personal story.

      "The Health Secretary has been working very hard rolling out this vaccine programme. And so I'll leave it there."

    • Harvey Lindsay

      MATT HANCOCK'S WIFE MARTHA STEPS OUT IN PUBLIC STILL WEARING HER WEDDING RING HOURS AFTER HUSBAND'S BOMBSHELL AFFAIR EXPOSED

      Matt Hancock's wife has been seen leaving her home still wearing her wedding ring after her husband's shocking affair was exposed.

      Martha Hancock, who has been married to the Health Secretary for 15 years, was seen walking with her dog this morning – hours after the bombshell news.

      Mr Hancock cheated on his wife with Gina Coladangelo, 43, who he hired last year with taxpayers’ money, as Covid gripped Britain.

      Mr Hancock, 42, and millionaire lobbyist Gina were caught on camera in a raunchy clinch at his Whitehall office.

      A Whitehall whistleblower told The Sun it was “shocking that Mr Hancock was having an affair in the middle of a pandemic with an adviser and friend he used public money to hire”.

      Last night, a friend of the Health Secretary said: “He has no comment on personal matters. No rules have been broken.”

    • Harvey Lindsay

      WHO IS MATT HANCOCK'S NEW MISTRESS, GINA COLADANGELO?

      Health Secretary Matt Hancock's secret lover, Gina Coladangelo is married millionaire mum and Oliver Bonas PR chief who Matt Hancock hired at taxpayers’ expense.

      She is also a director and major shareholder at lobbying firm Luther Pendragon, which offers clients a “deep understanding of the mechanics of government”.

      Matt Hancock secretly appointed Coladangelo to the Department of Health and Social Care as an unpaid adviser on a six-month contract in March last year.

      There was no public record of the appointment, which was set to see her earn at least £15,000 of taxpayers’ money, potentially rising by a further £5,000.

      The pair first met at Oxford University in the early 2000s but Mr Hancock went on to wed Martha Hoyer Millar in 2006.

      Read the full story here

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