THE Government’s plan to introduce a traffic light system for holiday destinations, indicating which countries are safe for Brits to visit, is still under wraps.
It’s coming under pressure though from its own ministers to make the announcement sooner rather than later.
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.
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.