Brits could be banned from entering EU under Covid travel rules

After a year of continuously changing restrictions, Brits are set to be banned from travelling to Europe when the transition period ends in January, according to reports.

Currently, British people are still allowed to travel to large parts of the continent under freedom of movement rules.

But from January 1, when the United Kingdom leaves the European Union either with or without a deal, things will change.

Due to the outbreak of coronavirus, European countries only allow non-essential travel from non-EU countries with low infection rates, according to reports by The Mirror.

Currently, only travellers from eight countries which fall under these criteria are allowed to travel into the EU, according to a report in the Financial Times.

Eu officials told the Financial Times there was no proposal to add the UK to that list of safe nations, which includes Australia, New Zealand and Singapore.

Some EU member states do not even allow in travellers from countries on the safe list, reflecting the hard battle much of Europe is facing to control coronavirus infection rates.

Only 12 of the European nations apply the list in full, while three have not adopted it at all.

If a proposal is made to add Britain to the safe list, it would have to meet technical criteria, such as proving it has robust coronavirus measures.

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Separately, Norway, which is not in the EU, has said it would prevent Brits from entering the country from January 1.

It came as airlines and holiday firms have demanded that the Government reviews its approach to foreign travel advice.

Trade bodies Airlines UK and Abta said their members are struggling to recover from the coronavirus pandemic because the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) continues to advise against all but essential travel to the vast majority of countries.

The position invalidates most travel insurance policies, meaning many potential leisure and businesses trips are being cancelled.

Abta suspects the FCDO’s travel advice is being used to control the virus crisis in the UK rather than assess the risk to travellers visiting other nations.

From December 15, people arriving in England from high-risk countries will be able to end their 14-day quarantine early if they receive a negative coronavirus test taken at least five days after they land.

But Tim Alderslade, chief executive of Airlines UK, warned that airlines will only be able to “fully take advantage” of this if travel advice is also amended.

He said: “This incoherent approach risks adding to the tens of thousands of job losses we have already seen, which have devastated the aviation sector this year.

“This is not about sending people to dangerous places. Nobody wants that and the Foreign Office is absolutely right to rule this out.

“But there are countries on the banned list that we think could be opened up on either a national or regional basis.

“Reviewing travel advice will give our beleaguered industry its own much needed shot in the arm this winter.”

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