Boris Johnson set for showdown Chequers talks with Angela Merkel after she tries to ban Brit holidaymakers from Europe

BORIS Johnson is set for showdown talks with Angela Merkel after she launched a bid to ban UK holidaymakers from Europe.

He will welcome the German leader to Chequers next Friday after she said all Brits entering the EU should be forced to quarantine.

🔵 Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest updates

Her plans would effectively end summer holiday hopes for families even though we have a higher vaccination rate than the continent.

A No 10 spokesman said the pair will discuss "deepening the UK-German relationship and the global response to the coronavirus pandemic".

It will be one the pair's last meetings before Mrs Merkel stands down in September after 16 years at the helm.

The talks come after Grant Shapps fired a barb at Berlin and said restrictions are only needed because of its slow jabs rollout.

The Transport Secretary said EU states with better vaccine programmes like Malta are still keen to welcome Brits.

He said: "Germany doesn't have the same level of vaccinations as has happened in this country so they will be particularly concerned.

"Each country will have to come to their own decision. A country like Malta which has a very high level of vaccination hasn't said the same thing.

"And other European countries will come to their own decisions and I respect that, that is for them to do.

"But it is different in each country and largely driven by levels of vaccination that they have managed to achieve in each country."


Spain has already signalled it will defy calls by Mrs Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron to shut out Brits.

Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzalez Laya said: "At the moment we're maintaining the measures which enable British citizens to enter our territory."

Portuguese PM Antonio Costa hinted his country, which let in UK tourists earlier this summer, would U-turn.

But he suggested this would only be to avoid being put on an EU travel "blacklist" over Delta variant concerns.

Brussels has already been advised by its top scientists that the new strain is set to become dominant in Europe.

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control said it will be responsible for 90% of new cases by late August.

It comes after sun seekers were given their biggest boost of the year last night as Ibiza, Majorca, Malta and some Caribbean islands turned green.

In a major win for summer holidays, a bumper list of new destinations where Brits can travel without quarantine will open up from next week.

It means from next Wednesday at 4am, passengers will be able jet back from the Balearics without hunkering down at home on return.


It opens up holidays to the immensely popular Spanish islands including Majorca, Menorca, Ibiza and Formenta.

And stunning Caribbean hot spots like Grenada, Barbados, Bermuda and Antigua have also gone green.

But Jamaica stays amber, and package hols destination the Dominican Republic is one of six countries moved to the red list.

MPs and travel chiefs were underwhelmed by the announcement and said it "fails to go far enough".

Tory MP Henry Smith, chair of the all-party Future of Aviation Group, said: "What the travel and tourism sector needs is certainty, and putting them on an amber light or uncertain green won't provide that.

"I welcome the direction of travel that sees greater, safer reopening but the list of green countries is overly cautious and the cost and complexity of testing is still a discouraging factor for people being able to travel."

Tim Alderslade, chief executive of Airlines UK, added: 'It's now or never if we are to have any sort of summer season.

"The data shows this can be done safely and proportionately with many more countries being added to the list.

"The future of our aviation industry and the hundreds of thousands of jobs it supports depends on it."

Holidaymakers are also facing confusion after Grant Shapps admitted almost all the new green list countries are on the brink of turning amber again.

The Transport Secretary refused to say three times whether he would personally book a holiday to one of the destinations being opened up.

And he admitted places like the Balearics and Madeira that are now on the green "watch list" have "marginal" figures and could soon be be downgraded.

Mr Shapps said sun seekers should be aware that "things might change quickly" and make sure they have full insurance before booking a trip abroad.

And he suggested only those who have "flexibility" in their summer plans should go ahead and plan a foreign holiday this summer.

Of the 16 new green countries announced last night only Malta isn't on the "watch list" of destinations at risk of imminent downgrading.

Pressed on whether the others could quickly turn amber again, he said: "Of course we'll try not to do that.

"Hopefully, we'll be able to get through to the next review in three weeks' time before meeting to make any of those decisions.

"But be aware we can see that the situation is fast changing, we want to alert people. There are some concerns in these particular locations.

"And therefore be aware that when you book things may have to change, they may have to change at short notice."

    Source: Read Full Article