*Story updated to clarify the exemption situation in the Canary Islands.


The Foreign Office (FCDO) is no longer advising against non-essential travel to five Greek islands, most of Portugal, MaltaIsrael and the Canary Islands.

Recent updates to the government department’s country-specific travel advice say the exemptions to its over-arching advice against non-esential travel are “based on the current assessment of Covid-19 risks.”

Greek islands with exemptions to the do not travel warning are Rhodes, Kos, Zakynthos, Corfu and Crete.

The Canary Islands, which include Tenerife, Lanzarote, Gran Canaria and Fuerteventura, retain their exemption that has been in place since last year.

When the travel corridor for the islands was removed in December, the FCDO advice exemption remained in place.

The FCDO still advises against travel to the rest of Spain and Greece.

For Portugal, the FCDO’s advice remains in place for the autonomous archipelago of the Azores – but there are exemptions for the mainland, and the island of Madeira.

The US Virgin Islands has also been given an FCDO advice exemption.


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International travel for leisure is banned until May 17 at the earliest, but the government is expected to provide an update this week on the countries to be included on the Department for Transport’s ‘green list’ for travel – from where quarantine is not required for arrivals.

A ‘senior industry source’ told The Telegraph that the move did not mean the newly exempted countries and regions would appear on the government’s green list, but said it ‘augured well’ for the reopening of travel this summer.

Industry sources last week tipped the two lists to align.

Transport secretary Grant Shapps has previously hinted that he would support a return of island travel corridors if infection levels were lower than on the countries’ mainlands.

He has also explained the criteria for adding countries to the green list includes the level of coronavirus in a country, the amount of vaccines they have dispensed, the concern over any variant, and the quality of the countries’ data.