BRITS are waiting for the Government to reveal a traffic light system for holiday destinations deemed “safe” to travel to this summer.
The so-called green list is under pressure though from its own ministers to make the announcement sooner rather than later, with an update pencilled in for early May.
🔵 Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest updates
Ministers have called for the Government to announce its ‘green’ list of countries by May 1Credit: Getty – Contributor
When will the green list be announced?
There is currently no set date but ministers have called on the Government to make the green list announcement by May 1.
But despite the calls for the list to be revealed ASAP, on Wednesday (April 27, 2021), Grant Shapps pledged to unveil the green list of holiday destinations within the next two weeks.
The transport secretary said Covid certificates for tourism and large domestic events, such as gigs and football matches, will be built into the NHS smartphone application.
Mr Shapps said the UK will have to be “very cautious” as it reopens the borders because the pandemic is raging worse than ever in many other parts of the world.
But he said he wants to make sure people can get a break this summer, and also that Brits are able to be reunited with family members who live overseas.
He said: “In terms of vaccine certification I can confirm we are working on an NHS application.
“It will be the NHS app that is used for people when they book appointments with the NHS, to be able to show you’ve had a vaccine or that you’ve had testing.
Grant Shapps pledged to unveil the green list of holiday destinations within the next two weeks
“I’m working internationally with partners across the world to make sure that system can be internationally recognised, so that’s the way forward.”
And in a boost to millions he also announced the UK is on course to drop its ban on international travel on May 17, declaring “The data does continue to look good.”
May 17 is the expected start date for holidays abroad, as the Government continues to ease the lockdown restrictions and the Commons Transport Committee says the travel industry needs time to prepare.
The planned traffic light system will see countries grouped into red, amber and green categories.
Countries on the “green” list would be able to travel without quarantine restrictions and would require a pre-flight Covid test as well as a PCR test on day two of returning to the UK.
“Amber” countries require a mandatory 10-day quarantine at home as well as a Covid test on day two and eight.
“Red” countries will have to isolate for 10-days at a quarantine hotel, costing £1,750 per person.
European destinations such as Malta and Gibraltar are expected to be included on the ‘green’ listCredit: Alamy
What countries are expected to be on the green list?
Green list countries are expected to include Malta and Gibraltar, both of which have a successful vaccine rollout and low Covid cases, along with Iceland and Israel.
The Caribbean and the UAE may also make the cut.
It could also include the US, New Zealand and Australia, although they all remain closed to the UK currently, with the US even increasing the travel warning against Britain to the highest level.
The rest of Europe including Spain, Greece and Portugal, some of the most popular holiday destinations for Brits, may be placed onto the “amber” list.
Spain’s Tourism Minister Fernando Valdes said the country is “desperate to welcome” Brits and he was optimistic that travellers would be able to return to the country, depending on discussions with the UK.
Experts have predicted which countries could make the green list
Grant Shapps also said earlier this week that the islands could open up earlier than the mainland in a similar island travel corridor scheme to last year.
Countries with a strong jabs rollout are set to be exempt from the EU’s blanket entry ban – bringing hope to millions of Brit sunseekers this summer.
A senior EU official said the UK will “certainly” be one of the first foreign nations allowed back in under its vaccine passport scheme, possibly from June.
What is the government’s criteria for judging who goes on which list?
What category a country is placed in will depend on the state of the pandemic and rate of vaccinations.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps advised people only to travel to green countries and said he’s looking at ways to “drive down” the costs of testing.
He said one idea is for the Government to provide holidaymakers with cheaper lateral flow tests before they travel – which they can then use abroad before getting on the plane.