Around 20 new destinations could be opened up to UK holidaymakers, without having to quarantine, thanks to stabilising Covid-19 infection rates.
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At a glance: 5 key points
- Popular tourist spots France and Italy are among a raft of countries that could join the quarantine-free list by the end of this month, according to analysis by former British Airways strategy chief Rovert Doyle, the Telegraph reports.
- Mr Doyle claims to have stabilising infection rates in some parts of Europe could see around 20 more destinations added to the green list following the next travel review.
- Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, Poland, Norway, Vietnam, Denmark, Slovakia, North Macedonia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Lebanon, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Moldova, Taiwan and Azerbaijan are also expected to be added at the end of the month.
- All of these destinations are currently on the amber list, meaning UK tourists are required to self-isolate for 10 days on their return to the UK.
What’s been said
Explaining his prediction for the green list update, Mr Doyle said: “There seems to be nothing in the data the Government says it is using that explains why they are languishing on the amber list at this point.
“I’m sure the answer is politics somehow, but there doesn’t even seem to be any obvious political logic for why two apparently similar countries get classified differently.”
Meanwhile, Karen Dee, the Airport Operators Association chief executive, has called for the government to be more open about how it decides its traffic light system, helping travellers to plan better for future holidays.
She said: “In Parliament, the Transport Secretary repeatedly urged people to look at the data to understand why some countries get added to the green list and others not.
“Yet when people do look at that data, it raises more questions than it answers.”
The decision on which countries are added to each list is based on a range of criteria, taking into account public health advice and the Joint Biosecurity Centre’s assessment of the latest Covid data.
The criteria for the lists includes:
- The percentage of a country’s population that have been vaccinated
- The rate of infection
- The prevalence of variants of concern
- The country’s access to reliable scientific data and genomic sequencing
For green listed countries, arrivals need to take a pre-departure Covid test, as well as a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test on or before day two of their return to the UK. However, travellers will not need to quarantine, or take any additional tests, unless they receive a positive result.
Arrivals from amber listed countries will need to quarantine for a period of 10 days at a designated place of their choosing and take a pre-departure Covid test, as well as a PCR test on or before day town and on or after day eight.
Arrivals from red listed countries must stay in a managed quarantine hotel for 10 days, take a pre-departure Covid test and a PCR test on or before day two, and on or after day eight.
Travellers can only enter the UK from red list countries if they are British or Irish National, or have UK residence rights.
The latest travel review took place on Thursday 24 June, with Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announcing 16 more destinations for the green list, with these changes coming into effect on Wednesday (30 June).
The next review is expected to take place three weeks after this on 15 July, just before all lockdown restrictions are due to end in England.
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