People flying from a limited number of ‘low-risk’ airports will be able to enter Europe without being tested and quarantined under new measures to open up tourism.
The European Aviation Safety Agency has drawn up a list of 13 UK airports in areas with the highest coronavirus infection rates, according to The Times.
Those not on the Easa list included Edinburgh, Belfast, Bristol, Aberdeen, Southend, Southampton and Cardiff.
The 13 airports blacklisted included Heathrow, Gatwick, Luton, Stansted, Manchester, Birmingham and Glasgow.
Easa’s global list featured all airports in 23 US states and those in the Ile de France region around Paris, Lombardy in northern Italy and those in Catalonia and Madrid in Spain.
The list was drawn up using data from the World Health Organisation, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control and other sources.
Easa said that the list was “not intended to suggest travel restrictions or other public health measures, such as quarantine, at state level”.
It is mainly designed to ensure an extra “layer of protection for passengers and aircrew”.
Greece confirmed yesterday that the system would be used to determine which passengers would be subject to the strictest measures on arrival from June 15 when it opens its borders to tourists for the first time since March.
Travellers from high-risk areas will be given a Covid-19 test, with isolation periods of seven or 14 days depending on whether the result is positive.
Greek tourism minister Harry Theoharis confirmed that the “more difficult travelling arrangement” would only routinely apply to those arriving from airports on the list.
The plan emerged as Spain said British tourists will be welcome once restrictions on overseas visitors have been lifted, pending changes to the UK government’s quarantine plans from Monday and Foreign Office advice against all-but-essential travel.
The country is set to open its borders to international tourists and drop its current 14-day quarantine rule from July 1.
A pilot scheme will operate in the last two weeks of June involving thousands of visitors, mostly from Germany, arriving in the Balearic and Canary islands and tracked through an app.
Aviation sources told The Times that the Greek arrangement was likely to be adopted in other European countries in coming weeks and months.
Theoharis told Today on Radio 4 that Greece had “different testing regimes” when people arrived.
He added that “stricter regimes from those airports [on the Easa list] make for a more difficult travelling arrangement”.
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