Robert Boyle, former director of strategy at British Airways’ parent company IAG predicted that 12 countries could be put in the low-risk tier this week.
He wrote on his website www.gridpoint.consulting that this includes nine European countries which are all “strong candidates”, consisting of Austria, Bulgaria, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Switzerland.
Politicians would prefer to announce a simultaneous relaxation of travel restrictions
The Government’s travel lists are expected to be updated on Thursday.
People arriving in the UK from green list destinations are not required to self-isolate.
Those travelling from an amber location must self-isolate at home for 10 days, although that requirement will be lifted on Monday for people arriving in England who have received both doses of a coronavirus vaccine in the UK, or are under 18 years old.
Mr Boyle described Canada as his “top prediction” for moving into the green tier, as it has low rates of coronavirus cases and test positivity, and its vaccine rollout programme is “catching up fast” to the UK’s.
But he noted that the North American country does not allow visitors from the UK.
He wrote: “It is hard to see a better candidate for the green list.
“The Canadian authorities continue to bar entry to Canada to British nationals.
“But so do Australia and New Zealand and they are on the green list.
“It may be a matter of timing though, as I’m sure politicians would prefer to announce a simultaneous relaxation of travel restrictions.”
Before the pandemic, around 724,000 British nationals visited Canada annually.
On the prospect of the US being added to the green list, Mr Boyle stated that “the figures still look a little high”.
But the positivity rate for people arriving in the UK from the US, combined with the latter’s vaccination programme, mean there is “some political wiggle room for including it as green if a deal gets done on reopening the US border”, he added.
Mr Boyle claimed Hong Kong “ought to be green” due to having “essentially zero cases and great testing data”, and “a similar case could be made for Taiwan”.
On countries moving to higher-risk categories, he wrote that case rates are “rising fast” in Malta and Israel, meaning there is a “real chance” that both countries, currently on the green list, will “at least get put on the watchlist”, which is used to highlight green locations that could soon be moved to the amber tier.
He also predicted that Indonesia and Sierra Leone could be moved from the amber list to the red list due to the “very high percentage of travellers testing positive on arrival”, while Bahrain could go in the opposite direction because of “case rates plummeting”.
People arriving in the UK from a red-list location must spent 11 nights at a quarantine hotel, at a cost of £1,750 for solo travellers.
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